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BUILDING IN WHICH THE FIRST A. O. U. W. LODGE
Fraternal Beneficiary Societies
ORIGIN AND GROWTH
M. W. 5ACKLTT
THE TRIBUNE PUBLISHING COMPANY
Copyright 1914 by M. W. Sackett
AUG •S 1914
For a number of years past I have been urged by
many of my friends, who are engaged in the Fraternal
Co-operative Protection field of effort, to put into printed
form, details of the inception, organization and develop-
ment of the societies in this country, of this distinctive
character, during the first few years of their history. I
have hesitated in complying with this request, feeling a
disinclination to appear in the role of an author of a liter-
ary production. Being, however, convinced that a correct
and permanent record of the inception and early history
of this great movement should be put in a tangible form,
and being the only one left who had personal official con-
nection therewith during these early years, I have done
my best in setting forth the facts as contained in the
As the Ancient Order of United Workmen was the
first to be organized and occupied the field for nearly five
years before any other society of like character was
formed, this history, in its limited review, must neces-
sarily be largely restricted to that society.
It is the hope of the author, imperfect as this presen-
tation may be, that from it some word of encouragement
and inspiration may be gathered that will induce a greater
loyalty to those higher ideals of unselfish service and
practical philanthropy so characteristic of the early
M. W. Sackett.
Meadville, Pa., August i, 1914.
INTERIOR VIEW OF FIRST A. O. U. W. LODGE ROOM
In the Keystone Workman, A. O. U. W., of June,
1 89 1, of which the author of this history was editor,
appeared the following description with cuts showing the
building and lodge room where the Ancient Order of
United Workmen was born. It is here reproduced as an
appropriate introduction to this book.
A. O. U. W. BIRTHPLACE.
Knowing the interest which centers around men and things
that in any way contributed to the inception or partook of the
surroundings incident to the organization of the Ancient Order
of United Workmen, we present to our readers this month
tnree electrotype cuts of the building and lodge room In
which the Order was first brought into existence.
The first gives a view of the outside of the building, which
is a three-story brick structure, built about the year 1850.
It was at that time the most imposing business block in the
town of Meadville.
The second cut gives a view of the front part of the lodge
room, and the third gives a view from the back part of the
The main lodge room is 58 feet long and 20 feet wide,
with ceiling 9y 2 feet high. There are two ante-rooms, one
12x14, the other 6x12. The interiors of the lodge and ante-
rooms remain the same today as they were in 1868, no change
or alteration having been made since that date. The walls
and ceiling, originally covered with whitewash, have become
dingy with time, and the antiquated ~tove, whose warmth
added comfort and cheerfulness to those present on that
eventful evening of October 27th, 1868, still occupies its origi-
nal place, covered with accumulated rust of nearly twenty-
three years. Board partitions separate the lodge room from
the ante-rooms. The wicket in the door that enters from the
inner ante-room to the lodge room at once attracts the atten-
tion of the visitor. It is made of two pieces of sheet iron,
with ends turned over and bolt inserted to make a hinge. No
doubt this piece of mechanism was the product of the skill of
Father Upchurch or some of his associates. In the views given
only a part of the furniture seen is that which originally be-
longed to the lodge room. The arrangement, of course, is the
work of the artist.
It is difficult for any one who has any just appreciation of
the magnitude and scope of the results that have been devel-
oped from this first cause, to enter this historic place and not
be deeply impressed. From out the accumulated dust and de-
cay arises a vision of beautiful temples erected all over the
land, whose protecting shelter extends over millions of our fel-
low men, as a result of that inspiration first manifested with-
in this humble sanctuary.
Here, on the evening of October 27, 1868, Father Upchurch
and thirteen of his associates erected an altar and consecrated
it to the more perfect exemplification of good and helpful-
ness to mankind. It was rough, unpolished and crude in de-
sign, even as the interior of the place of its birth, and today
would present no alluring demand upon the attention of man-
kind. It was not to be judged, however, by its exterior, for
within was contained the germ that was to open into life
and power, bearing in time a full fruition of unmeasured
Amid such surroundings the mind cannot dwell upon de-
tails, but with rapid glance looks back and contemplates the
general good accomplished, and from that into the future,
and gathers fresh inspiration for more zealous effort and
greater achievements. Like all great undertakings, opposl-
tion and discouragements were to be met and overcome on all
sides. The battle of internal dissension, as well as outside
indifference, had to be met and overcome. Through the
crucible of trial was the pure gold to be extracted and the
dross eliminated. How well this has been done the one-
quarter of million of members of the A. 0. U. W. today bears
testimony. That Father Upchurch here planted a seed, the
possibilities of which he had no adequate idea, is no doubt
true. Still, like all heaven-born inspirations, some vision of
the good to be attained must have been apparent to him, and
we all rejoice that ere he was called to pass beyond the vale
this seed had grown, ripened and multiplied, until the whole
land rejoiced in its helpfulness to humanity.
LEAGUE OF FRIENDSHIP, MECHANICAL OR-
DER OF THE SUN.
On April 30, 1868, there was organized in the city
of Meadville, Penna., a subordinate League known as
the "League of Friendship of the Mechanical Order of
the Sun." ■
But little information is attainable from the min-
utes of the League in Meadville as to the objects, laws
or regulations of the Society. There was in existence
a Grand Council under whose direction the League in
Meadville was organized, as evidenced by the fact that
Grand Councilman Holstead is noted as being present
and officiating. It is apparent also from the Minutes
that membership in the League was restricted to the
various kinds of mechanical and day laborers. The
membership in the Meadville League was almost entire-
ly composed of mechanics, engineers, firemen and day
laborers employed in the shops and on the Atlantic and
Great Western Railroad, now known as the Erie R. R.
It is apparent that the object of the League was to
advance and foster the interests of its members by co-
operating in effort and financial assistance whenever
called upon to serve a worthy and approved cause. To
this pledge each member was bound by solemn oath to
be obedient and faithful. It was an incipient effort
striving in the direction of that which at the present
day is represented in the labor unions of this country.
John Jordan Upchurch, familiarly known as "Father
Upchurch," was not a charter member of the League
but was admitted to membership therein at its eighth
meeting June 16, 1868. He was soon after elected as
its presiding officer.
William W. Walker, who was afterward closely iden-
tified with the early history of the Ancient Order of
United Workmen, was a charter member of the League
and active in its promotion.
The League at Meadville seems to have been very
prosperous for a time, its membership numbering over
one hundred members, as I have been informed by one
who was affiliated with it.
The League, however, was destined to be short lived.
Soon, it appears, suspicion was aroused as to the integrity
of the governing body and especially of the officers that
were conducting the affairs of the Grand Council, as
it was called. This dissatisfaction culminated when the
Meadville League was called upon to pay a tax to the
Grand Council which they apparently considered an un-
warranted demand. The dissatisfaction finally went to
the length of causing many members to drop out and
on the evening of October 27, 1868, it was determined
to disband the League.
The foregoing short sketch of the Meadville League
of Friendship has been given for the reason that out
of it grew the inception and organization of Jefferson
Lodge No. 1, Ancient Order of United Workmen — the
first lodge of that Order and the first Fraternal Bene-
fit Society in this country.
JOHN JORDAN UPCHURCH.
Founder of the A O.U. W.
JEFFERSON LODGE NO. i, ANCIENT ORDER
OF UNITED WORKMEN.
Before entering into details as to the organization
of Jefferson Lodge No. i, A. O. U. W., it will be of
interest to enter as fully as may be into the underlaying
thought and motive actuating Upchurch and his associ-
ates in the inception and organization of the Order.
In this, we are fortunate in having the written words
of Upchurch himself, as contained in a letter written to
J. M. McXair in reply to request for data relative to the
institution of Jefferson lodge. This letter was written by
Upchurch Feb. 3, 1873, following immediately after the
organization of the Supreme Lodge of the Order and
at such an early date in the history of the Order that
the facts "would be fresh in mind and worthy of full
credence. The following is an extract from said letter:
Letter of J. J. Upchurch to J. M. McNair.
Meadville, Pa., Feb. 3rd, 1873.
Dear Sir & Bro. :
Below I give you a few points that probably you are
unacquainted with that may be of use to you in writing
up the history of the Order.
The circumstances which first led me to study the
wants of the working people and the best way of arriving
at them were as follows :
In the year of 1864 I held the office of Master Me-
chanic of the Mine Hill and Schuylkill Haven R. R. In
the month of June of that year the crews of engineers
on the road demanded an advance of fifty cents per day
of wages. Engineers at that time were receiving three
dollars and sixty cents per day. Their demands were
made known to the company, when I was authorized to
give them an advance of forty cents a day which would
(give) engineers four dollars per day, conductors and
brakemen in the same proportion. When I made the
proposition, it was received with derision; at the same
time I was told that their union had directed them to de-
mand an advance of fifty cents and they would not go
to work without it.
It struck me very forcibly, the injustice in any order
or society to assume to direct in a matter wherein they
could not possibly know anything of the circumstances
under which the difficulties had arisen and do arise be-
tween employer and employee, as was very evident in
the present difficulty.
My mind seemed to be drawn towards the intro-
duction of a plan whereby the necessity of all strikes
might be obviated and all differences be settled by the
more satisfactory method of compromise.
In my mind the best means to accomplish this object
was to bring together employer and employee face to
face, by uniting them in the bonds of fraternal friend-
Having matured a rough plan in my mind to accom-
plish said object, I imparted my rough ideas in 1865 to
Bro. Francis I. Keffer, of Petroleum Center. He en-
couraged me, concurring in my views of the matter.
Not having an opportunity of introducing my ideas,
the whole matter was allowed to rest until June 2, 1868.
At this time being a citizen of Meadville, Pa., I was pro-
posed and elected as a suitable person to become a mem-
ber of an Order or Society known as "League of Friend-
ship, Supreme Mechanical Order of the Sun." I was
not long in finding out that we were groping our way in
the dark. We could get no information whatever from
the officers of the Grand Council, as it was called, neither
were we allowed a representative to that body unless we
went further and joined what was called the "Knights
of the Iron Ring." All we had to do was to pay more
money or be quiet, live in ignorance and pay taxes. This
information came to hand after stenuous efforts had been
made to extract it. (This) was sufficient to convince me
that the whole thing was a scheme, was rotten to' the
core, gotten up for the purpose of fraud. From this
time I was determined, if possible, to break up the hum-
bug and introduce my ideas of right and justice between
man and man, and went to work for the purpose." * *
Following the above extract is recited the action of
the League of Friendship lodge, in dissolving its or-
ganization, the appointing of a committee with Upchurch
as its chairman, to prepare a constitution and ritual for
a new organization embodying the ideas advanced by
Upchurch. Of this committee Walker was a member.
The committee met October 10, 1868, at the house of Up-
church, and Upchurch presented a draft of constitution
prepared by him and also a draft of a first degree of a
ritual, both of which were accepted and approved by
On October 27, 1868, at the regular meeting of the
League of Friendship, the committee reported. A motion
was made and carried to dissolve the League of Friend-
ship and proceed to the organization of a new Order.
Upchurch presented the constitution and ritual approved
by the committee, which was adopted, the League was
declared dissolved and birth was given to that which af-
terward culminated in the greatest and grandest move-
ment of co-operative helpfulness the world has ever wit-
nessed, viz., Fraternal Benefit Societies.
The code of laws prepared by Upchurch's Committee
and adopted at the organization of Jefferson Lodge, was
never printed but we are fortunate in having the orig-
inal copy in the handwriting of Upchurch as it was pre-
sented and adopted by the lodge October 27, 1868. These
laws were written in a small passbook which was carried
by Upchurch in his pocket. Its soiled condition testifies
to the truthfulness of what is certified to by Bro. J.
M. McNair, to whom Bro. Upchurch gave the copy and
who verifies its authenticity in a note on the cover of
the original copy, as follows :
This is a copy of the first Contitution of the A. O. U.
W., and was given to me by Brother P. S. M. W. J. J.
Upchurch. There were no printed copies at this time,
and this copy was carried while at work by Brother
t J. M. McNair.
Deeming it to be a matter not only of interest to a
large number of those who are concerned in Fraternal
Benefit Societies, but also of importance in preserving a
correct history of the first code of laws enacted for the
government of the first lodge of the first Order among
WILLIAM W. WALKER
Fraternal Benefit Societies, the following entire copy
thereof is given :"
ANCIENT ORDER OF UNITED WORKMEN.
The mechanic and working men generally have long since
seen the necessity of an order being established on principals
broad enough to embrace all the various branches of the
Mechanical Arts and Sciences, believing that by so doing the
interest of its members will receive greater protection, for
where there is union, there is strength.
This organization shall be known as Jefferson Lodge No. 1
of the Ancient Order of United Workmen, to be composed of
Mechanics and Mechanics' helpers, Artists and their assist-
ants of the various branches. Its executive functions shall be
vested in the officers hereinafter provided for according to the
powers, privileges and limitations specified and enumerated.
Its objects shall be, first, to unite all Mechanics and Me-
chanics' helpers and those regularly employed in any branch
of the mechanical arts so that they may form one united
body for the defense and protection of their interest against
all encroachments and the elevation of labor to that standard
it is justly entitled to.
To create and foster a more friendly and co-operative feel-
ing amongst those who have a common interest, thereby
enabling them to act promptly and decidedly in any matter
which may affect said interest.
To examine and discuss those laws and usages, national,
state and municipal, which may be considered (in) contra-
vention to their interest; to establish and maintain a library
for the purpose of inducing its members to acquire that
knowledge that will fit and prepare them for any station in
To hold lectures from time to time as the interest of the
Order may require, the reading of essays and the examina-
tion and discussion of the merits and demerits of new im-
To use all legitimate means in their power to adjust all
differences which may arise between employers and em-
ployees and to labor for the development of a plan of action
that may prove beneficial to both parties based on the eternal
truth that the interest of Labor and Capital are equal and
should receive equal protection.
To discontinue strikes except where they become abso-
lutely necessary for their protection and then only after all
efforts of adjustment have failed.
To give all moral and material aid in their power to mem-
bers of this Order who may be afflicted or oppressed or who
may be laboring under great difficulties to ameliorate their
To combine and direct all their influence for the elevation
of the mechanic and laborer in mental, moral, social and civil
All mechanics, artisans, artists, engineers, foremen, train
conductors, blacksmiths, helpers, and all white male persons
regularly employed in any branch of the mechanical and sci-
entific arts, twenty-one years of age, of a good moral char-
acter, are eligible to membership in this Order.
In voting for candidates, if one blackball appears the
candidate shall be declared rejected unless a motion is carried
to reconsider the vote, when a new ballot may be had at the
next stated meeting. Should one or more blackballs appear
at the second ballot, the candidate shall be declared rejected
when another application shall not be entertained for six
All propositions for membership shall be made in writing,
stating age, residence, and occupation and recommended by a
member of the Order. The petition shall be accompanied by
one-half the initiation fee and read in the regular meeting of
the Order and referred to a committee of three members for
investigation who shall use every lawful means to ascertain
the character and standing of the applicant. This proposition
shall be read at each regular meeting and lay over two weeks
when a ballot shall be had. Any one knowing the applicant
to be of bad character, they shall make the fact known to
Should any member blackmail an applicant on account of
personal, political or religious differences or for anything
except being unworthy to sit in the Ancient Order of United
Workmen, (he) shall on conviction be reprimanded, sus-
pended or expelled as the Order may direct by a two-thirds
The initiation fee shall not be less than two dollars, one-
half to accompany the proposition, the other half to be col-
lected by the secretary before the initiation. Should the
candidate be elected and he fails to come forward for initia-
tion for the space of one month, the proposition fee shall be
declared forfeited unless a good and sufficient excuse shall be
given. Should he be rejected, the proposition fee shall be
The regular meetings of this Order shall be weekly at such
time and place as a majority of members present may from
time to time determine.
Five members and one officer shall constitute a quorum for
the transaction of business.
Members of the Order who may pass an examination or
vouched for by a member shall be entitled to sit in the lodge
but shall take no part in the business transactions unless
invited, but may speak under the rule of the good of the
The officers of the Ancient Order of United Workmen shall
be a Master Workman, a General Foreman, one Overseer, one
Guide, one Outside and one Inside Sentinel, a Secretary, Treas-
urer, Chaplain and three Trustees, who shall be elected at
their own consent at the last regular meeting in September
and installed at the first regular meeting in October or as
soon thereafter as practicable.
All officers shall be elected by ballot and receive a ma-
jority of all votes cast. Where there is more than one candi-
date running for one office, the one receiving the lowest vote
shall be withdrawn.
DUTIES OF OFFICERS.
It is the duty of the Master Workman as executive officer
to preside at all meetings, maintain order, execute or cause
to be executed all laws, rules and established usages of the
Order, appoint committees, announce all votes, give the cast-
ing vote in case of a tie vote, call special meetings, sign all
orders, certificates, drafts and credentials, see that each officer
attends strictly to his duties and have full returns and reports
made out to Grand Lodge and forward therewith the percent-
age before the installation of his successor, giving the number
of members in good standing, the number rejected, suspended
The Secretary shall keep a full and complete record of the
transactions of the Order, countersign certificates, drafts and
credentials, collect all moneys and enter the amount on the
minutes and pay the same over to the Treasurer and take
his receipt for the same, notify candidates of elections, call
special meetings when ordered by the Master Workman and
perform such other duties as the Master or the Order may
direct and at the close of the year make out a full report of
the standing and condition of the Order and deliver to his
successor in office all books, papers and other property belong-
ing to the Order.
The Treasurer shall receive and hold all moneys due or
belonging to the Order, to have the same ever ready to meet
any demands on the treasury and make disbursements when
directed by drafts or checks. He shall keep a correct account
'of all moneys received from whatever source and how ex-
pended by drafts or checks, keeping them on file as vouchers
He shall make out a quarterly report of the financial condi-
tion of the Order, at the close of the year make out the annual
report and perform such other duties as the Master Workman
or the Order may direct and deliver to his successor all books,
papers, money and other property in his hands belonging to
the Order. He shall give bond with approved security in such
sum as the Order may direct for the faithful performance, of
It shall be the duty of the General Foreman to render the
Master Workman such assistance as the usages of the Order
may require and in the absence of the Master Workman he
shall take the supervision of the Order and preside in his stead.
The Overseer shall render such service as the Master or
General Foreman may require and in the absence of the Gen-
eral Foreman shall fill his station.
The Guide shall introduce all candidates and with a com-
mittee shall examine all visitors and strangers, see that all
members are properly clothed, collect and take charge of the
regalia, etc., and perform such other duties as may be re-
quired of him from time to time.
The Sentinels shall guard the inner and outer doors, keep
off all intruders and perform such other duties as the Master
Workman or the usages of the Order may from time to time
The Chaplain shall perform the opening and closing cere-
mony and assist in such other duties as the usages of the
Order may require.
The Board of Trustees shall hold all property, real and
personal, in trust for the Order, invest all moneys when
directed by the Order, taking bond with approved security and
at the close of their term shall make a full report to the lodge.
All special committees shall report at the next regular
meeting of the Order unless otherwise directed. All commit-
tees shall be appointed from members present.
The Secretary and Treasurer shall furnish when directed
by the Master Workman or the Order all information which
may be in their possession in transacting business.
The regalia shall belong to the Order.
Every subordinate lodge shall pay to the Grand Lodge a
tax of one dollar on each member in good standing in quar-
terly installments for the support of Grand Lodge.
Any member violating his obligation shall be dealt with as
On conviction of any other offense against the Constitution,
rules or usages of the Order, neglect of duty, contempt in the
meetings, shall be reprimanded, fined, suspended or expelled as
the case may require.
All charges shall be made in writing, stating the offense to
the Secretary, who shall under the call for new business read
the same in open assembly and if not withdrawn with proper
explanation the Master Workman shall appoint a time when
the party shall be tried in open assembly. He shall be per-
mitted to conduct his own case or select from the members of
the Order. The Master Workman, General Foreman, Overseer,
Guide and Chaplain shall act as judges in the case.
Should the party feel aggrieved he may take an appeal to
the Grand Lodge which shall be final. He will, however, not
be permitted to take part in the proceedings of the Order
whilst his case is pending.
This Constitution shall not be altered or amended except by
and with the consent of the Grand Lodge.
Each Subordinate Lodge may enact such By-Laws and
Rules of Order as may be required for its working when not in
conflict with this Constitution, subject to the approval of
No subordinate lodge shall be dissolved as long as there
are five members in good standing who object thereto.
Should a lodge be dissolved or charter forfeited, all books,
papers, moneys and other property of whatever description
shall be delivered to the Deputy Grand Master Workman hav-
ing the charge of the district for the benefit of Grand Lodge.
FIRST INSURANCE ARTICLE
In the handwriting of John Jordan Upchurch,
Founder of the A. O. U. W.
• ARTICLE XIV.
When a vacancy shall occur in any office, an election shall
be had at a regular meeting as soon thereafter as practicable
to fill the office for the unexpired term.
In the absence of the District Deputy Grand Master Work-
man, the Master Workman or any Past Master Workman may
install the officers.
The Master Workman, General Foreman, Secretary, Treas-
urer, Guide and Chaplain, shall constitute a relief committee
under the direction of the Master Workman. Each member
shall be subject to his order in attending to sick or disabled
members, subject on failure to a fine of fifty cents.
Each subordinate lodge shall elect two representatives to
Grand Lodge at their regular annual election to serve for one
The Master Workman shall appoint a standing business
committee whose duty shall be to correspond with the differ-
ent lodges and members in reference to those out of employ-
ment and situations to be filled, and report immediately the
facts to the proper person at Intelligence Office of Grand
Lodge. They shall also report weekly to the lodge which they
are subject to.
There shall be established when the Order numbers one
thousand members an insurance office and policy issued, secur-
ing at the death of the member insured not less than Five
Hundred Dollars, to be paid to his lawful heirs.
ARTICLE XVIII. '
When there are six subordinate lodges established in any
state, they shall call a meeting of two representatives from
each subordinate lodge and establish a state Grand Lodge,
subject only to the National or Supreme Lodge.
The words ''white male persons" in Article III., Section 1,
of this Constitution shall not be altered, amended, or expunged
but shall remain unalterably fixed as specified.
Any member being over three months in arrears for dues or
fines shall not be privileged to vote at aD election or hoi.]
A perusal of the foregoing Constitution and Laws
leads to the conclusion that among the motives which
inspired Upchurch and his co-laborers in their separation
from the League of Frandship and the organization of a
new Order, life insurance was not the central idea, which
today largely makes the distinctive characteristics of Fra-
ternal Benefit Organizations, but that it was incidental
to the main object. This is evidenced by the meager
provision made therefor in Article XVII of the Consti-
tution adopted. That this is true is further emphasized
by the declared objects as set forth in Article II, in which
no indication is found that would lead to a conclusion
that it was in mind to establish a society the controlling
feature of which was to be Fraternal co-operative life
insurance or protection, as now represented by Fraternal
That which controlled the mind of Upchurch and his
associates was to bring together through the medium of
lodge affiliation employer and employee, and under sol-
emn bond of helpful co-operation, adjust differences that
might arise between them and thus avoid strikes. In
the autobiography of Upchurch he clearly sets forth that
this was the main incentive that led him to formulate
plans that culminated in the organization of Jefferson
It followed quite naturally that in contemplating the
scope of the broad humanitarianism to be achieved, so
prominent in the mind of Upchurch and his associates,
that the care and protection of the widow and orphans
of a deceased brother should demand consideration and
thus it occurred that provision was made that when the
society assumed such proportions as would warrant, five
hundred dollars was to be paid to the legal representa-
tives of the brother. Upchurch's letter before quoted
clearly proves this conclusion to be the correct one. In
saying this, however, it is not the desire to detract in the
least from the great honor that rightfully belongs to
Father Upchurch as the founder of this great movement.
It grew directly from the small seed which he planted in
Section i. Article XYII, of the foregoing Constitution of
Jefferson Lodge Xo. I. From a mere incident to the
main purpose, it soon became the controlling object of
the organization, as will more fully appear as this history
THE FRATERNAL BOXD.
While the main object of Upchurch and his associates
in organizing a new Order was the adjusting of differ-
ences that might arise between capital and labor, "based
on the eternal truth that the interests of labor and capital
are equal and should receive equal protection," and the
discontinuance of strikes except when absolutely neces-
sary and after all efforts of adjustment had failed, there
is apparent in the "objects" ais adopted a still more im-
portant principle enunciated, underlying the whole pur-
pose of the organization, forming the basis upon which
the structure was to be builded ; towit, co-operative help-
fulness — a fraternal interest one in the other — not only a
mutual effort to lend aid in time of trouble and distress,
but to effect a higher standard of social and moral uplift.
Father Upchurch was a Mason and his susceptible
nature had inculcated in large measure the fraternal,
brotherly teachings, so fully woven into the texture of the
fabric of that ancient and honorable craft. In the ritual
which he presented for adoption the first meeting night of
Jefferson Lodge, and which was without doubt the product
of his own brain, as well as the Constitution and Laws
presented by his committee, all verify the fact that he
recognized as the essential basis, upon which the new or-
ganization must rest to be successful, the binding of the
members together by solemn obligation, to recognize
and carry out with fidelity the principle of brotherhood
as exemplified in practical helpfulness along all lines,
tending to individual betterment.
It is true that Upchurch and his associates sought
to gather within the fold of membership only such per-
sons as would naturally be attracted by the controlling
motive of the organisation, so membership was restricted
as enumerated in Section I, Article III, to the field of
manual labor. This fact, however, does not detract from
the honor of those instrumental in starting a movement
that embodied a principle soon to be enlarged and per-
fected as the greatest movement of the age, in practical
Upchurch's experience as a mechanic, and especially
as Master Mechanic of the Mine Hill and Schuylkill
Haven Railroad, in which a strike of the employees oc-
curred, involving unjust demands on the part of the labor-
ers, arbitrarily enforced by demand of the labor union
with which they were affiliated, led him to meditate on
plans that might be adopted by which such unfortunate
conditions might be avoided. After four year's study
over the matter, his thought found expression in the laws
and ritual of Jefferson Lodge, Ancient Order of United
Workmen. An ardent and faithful Mason, it was but
natural that he should be led to apply the lessons of
brotherly love and fellowship, so prominent in Masonry,
and make them the vital feature of the new Order. It
was through the fraternal bond of union that he trusted
to solve the labor problems, and not by strikes but by
arbitration. This was the practical idea prominent in his
mind, and the insurance provision was only a minor con-
sideration, incident to the main purpose. The basis was
practical and applied fraternity and although for the time
being it was restricted to a class, yet in a short time it
was forced into the broader field of unlimited philan-
thropy which has now stood the test of nearly half a cen-
tury, with ever increasing strength and efficiency.
The main object of Upchurch af!d his associates, to
prevent strikes among laboring men, by arbitrating dif-
ferences arising between employer and employees, was
destined in a short time to be overshadowed by the inci-
dental feature of insurance so meagerly set forth in the
first constitution and laws. This was a source of deep
regret to Upchurch, so much so that for years he with-
drew himself from all active participation with the af-
fairs of the Order. In time, however, he became recon-
ciled to the changed course the Order pursued and en-
tered into cordial efficient co-operation therein.
The minutes of the first meeting of Jefferson Lodge
are very meager in detail, only noting the dissolution of
the League of Friendship, the admission of fourteen
members, the adoption of the Constitution as previously
prepared by the committee and the election of officers.
The following is a copy of the minutes as recorded by
"Meadville Oct. 27th 1868
"After the dissolution of the K. S. of S. M. O. S., and Char-
ter removed, it was moved and seconded that we accept the
new Constitution subject to revisal of phraseology.
On motion it was adopted that the Chairman of Committee
on Revisal of the work of the Order, administer the obligation
to those present when the following members received it and
paid the sum of one dollar.
M. H. McNair
H. C. Deross
J. R. Umberger
. C. Newberry
W. S. White ♦ 1.00 A. P. Ogden l.OO
S. R. Hulse 1.00 J. Tracy 1.00
Whole Amount $14.00
On motion it was ordered that we go into nomination and
election for officers for the ensuing year, when the following
brothers were placed in nomination and elected:
Master Workman, J. J. Upchurch; General Foreman, J. R.
Umberger; Inside Sentinel, S. Rositer ; Outside Sentinel, W.
S. White; Secretary, M. H. McNair; Overseer, J. A. Tracy;
Guide, H. C. Deross; Chaplain, A. P. Ogden; Treasurer, S. R.
Hulse; Trustees — W. C. Newberry, T. F. Upchurch, P. Linen.
There being no other business, this meeting adjourned in
M. H. McNair
The second meeting of Jefferson Lodge occured on
November 3, 1868. Of the original fourteen who had
been present at the first meeting, only seven were present
at the second meeting. Upchurch in his autobiography
explains the reason for this as follows : "On the morn-
ing of the 28th (October) several of the members came
to me and demanded that the words 'white male' be
stricken from the Constitution, which I refused to do.
The Recorder (Secretary) then refunded to each man
his entrance fee."
At this meeting William W. Walker, F. Metz and T.
A. Klock were admitted to membership. Walker, as has
been before noted, was destined afterward to become a
prominent factor in the early history of the Order. He
was a machinist in the employ of the Atlantic and Great
Western Railroad and associated with Upchurch in the
machine shops of the road. He had been on the com-
mittee with Upchurch in the formation of the Consti-
tution and Laws that were presented at the first meet-
ing of the lodge. He was not present at the meeting
October 27th but claimed that this meeting was but pre-
liminary to the real organization and that as he had been
active with Upchurch in the preliminary work, he should
be accorded an equal share of the honor with him.
Some years after the organization of the Supreme Lodge,
this matter of controversy between Upchurch and Walk-
er was before that body and it was definitely determined
that the date of organization of the Order should be
October 27th, 1868, and that to Upchurch belonged the
honor of being its founder.
On the third meeting, November 10th, action was
taken expelling from the Order M. H. McNair, A. P.
Ogden and S. R. Hulse for "refunding the initiation fees
collected October 27th without authority for so doing."
This left only eleven members of the fourteen originally
obligated at the first meeting October 2J, 1868.
On the fourth meeting, November 17th, several new
members having been admitted to membership, the va-
cancies in the offices were filled by election and all the
officers were duly installed to serve for one year. Walker
was elected and installed as Secretary, Upchurch retain-
ing the position of Master Workman.
At this meeting it was voted that the Lodge be
known as Jefferson Lodge No. 1. Ancient Order of
At the meeting December I, 1868, it was voted to
procure "six pass-books" in which to copy the Constitu-
tion and Laws for the benefit of the members.
No matters of particular historical note are found
upon the records, other than the initiation of candidates
for membership, until April 28, 1869, at which time it
appears that the Constitution and by-laws were again
before the lodge for action. No draft, however, of such
laws, are contained in the minutes, and it is probable
they were the same as had previously been authorized
to be copied in pass-books ; only such changes being made
as became necessary by the adoption of a name for the
lodge, meeting night, etc. These laws were at this meet-
ing directed to be printed, and as a bill for thirteen dol-
lars was on May 26th following approved, there is no
doubt but that there were printed copies existent at that
time, but unfortunately none has been preserved so far
as the writer is informed.
At the meeting May 26, 1869, Walker resigned as
secretary and William Shaffer was elected to the position.
At this meeting it is noted upon the minutes that the
"third degree" was conferred on all members present.
Up to this meeting, no record appears of other than a
First Degree, the Second Degree necessarily must have
been prepared in the interim and conferred upon the
members, as note is made at the following meeting of
the conferring of such second degree. The first ritual,
afterward known as the "Upchurch Ritual," consisted of
four separate degrees and was entirely the work of
Father Upchurch. It was not, however, put into printed
form until 1871.
PROVISIONAL GRAND LODGE OFFICERS.
The meeting July 14, 1869, was an important one
in the history of Jefferson Lodge. At that meeting,
according to the recorded minutes, Grand Lodge officers
were elected. Under what warrant of law, as provided
by the Constitution then in force, this action was taken
does not appear. It can only be concluded that re-
alizing the necessity of some authority that could act
in establishing other lodges and otherwise performing
the functions of a Grand Lodge, until such time as the
requisite six lodges, necessary to the formation of a
Grand Lodge as required by the Constitution, were or-
ganized, such action was taken without authority other
than the action of the lodge conferred.
The following were elected as Provisional Grand
Lodge officers with titles as recorded in the minutes :
Grand Master, J. J. Upchurch ; Grand Foreman, O. M.
Barnes ; Grand Chaplain, D. Kelling ; Grand Overseer,
A. Klock ; Grand Guide, D. Bush ; Grand Sentinel, J.
Cassaway; Grand Trustees, P. Oster and A. Oster;
Grand Treasurer, P. Linen ; Grand Secretary, R. Grieves.
The above Provisional Grand Lodge Officers were not
identical with the officers of Jefferson Lodge. Upchurch,
however, was at the same time Master Workman of the
Lodge and also Provisional Grand Master Workman.
It does not appear by the records that Jefferson
Lodge held any control over or assumed to direct in any
manner the actions of the Grand Lodge officers. No
doubt it was understood that these Grand Lodge officers
were bound to carry out the provisions of the Consti-
tution and ritual, adopted by Jefferson Lodge, and be
guided thereby until such time as six subordinate lodges
were organized and a Grand Lodge convened. These
officers were but a temporary expedient for the pro-
pagating of the Order, operative only until the time
that the requisite number of lodges were organized to
establish a Grand Lodge.
This question of delegated authority afterward be-
came a matter of controversy and eventually led to the
separation of the lodges of the Order, as will here-
JEFFERSON LODGE PROSPERED.
In the meantime Jefferson Lodge had enjoyed a good
degree of prosperity. Upwards of fifty persons had been
admited to membership and each meeting night applica-
tions were received and degrees conferred.
On the meeting night July 24, 1869, Walker with
others received the third degree of the Order and on
August 28th following, the fourth degree.
September 22, 1869, an election of officers of the
lodge took place. Both Upchurch and Walker were
nominees for the office of Master Worman. The elec-
tion resulted in placing. Walker in that chair.
At this meeting three members were elected as rep-
resentatives to the formation of a Grand Lodge.
Not until the meeting of November 11, 1869, is
any mention made in the records of Jefferson Lodge of
the receipts of any monies to be applied to the "Insur-
ance Fund" so called. At that meeting the financial
secretary was instructed "to notify all members to pay
the insurance fee." No record is found up to this time
as to what this ''insurance fee" was to be — the amount
to be collected from the members or to whom it was to
be paid, the Constitution and Laws being silent relative
thereto. The only provision of the laws relative to this
matter was Section i of Article XVII which provided
for establishing an "insurance office" when the member-
ship numbered one thousand, and that five hundred
dollars be paid to the "lawful heirs."
Each member was required at his initiation to pay
two' dollars as a fee for the degrees, but this fund was
for the general expenses of the lodge and no part of
it was for the purposes of the insurance fund.
It is to be presumed, although there is no record to
that effect, that what was afterward adopted as a plan for
raising and disbursing this insurance fund, viz., that
each member should pay one dollar into the fund and
when a member died, the amount was to be forwarded
to the widow and orphans of the deceased brother,
was from the inception of the Order in the minds of
its founders as one of the benefits in time to be accom-
plished. The lack of any specific provisions to carry
out this feature, emphasizes the fact that up to this time
and for some time thereafter, the matter of insurance
or protection, which afterward became the leading fea-
ture of the organization, was considered merely inci-
dental to the main object — the promotion of the interests
of mechanics and laboring men by preventing strikes
and by means of arbitration adjust differences arising
between capital and labor.
At the organization of Jefferson Lodge and the
adoption of its Constitution and Laws, provision was
only made for a recording secretary, and the duty of
collecting the fees and dues for the lodge devolved upon
this officer. Sometime however, between the date of
organization and September, 1869, a new office had been
created known as "Financial Secretary," whose duty it
was to collect all fees and dues from the members and
turn the same over to the Treasurer. It is likely that this
change, creating a new office, occured at the time the
laws were revised for printing April 28, 1869.
At the meeting October 23, 1869, Walker reported
to the lodge "that he had been in Cincinnati, Ohio, and
that he had commenced a lodge there and that they
wanted the paraphernalia sent on as soon as possible. "
On November 11, 1869, report is made that J. R. Um-
berger, one of the original fourteen members, had or-
ganized a lodge in Cincinnati and his name was placed
upon the records of Jefferson Lodge as an "honorary
member." This lodge however was not organized until
early in the year 1870 and was known as Washington
Lodge Xo. 1, the first lodge of the Order in Ohio.
It appears that a short time previous to this meeting,
November 11, 1869, that Upchurch had removed from
Meadville to Leavittsburg, Ohio, where he was still em-
ployed as machinist in the Atlantic and Great Western
Shops at that place. He still, however, retained his mem-
bership in Jefferson Lodge and also continued as Pro-
visional Grand Master Workman. Xote is made in the
records of a letter received from Upchurch, returning
thanks for a "handsome present which he received before
On the sixth day of October, 1869, a meeting of the
Provisional Grand Lodge, as it was termed, was held
at Meadville." As there was at that date only one lodge
in existence, the meeting must have consisted of the
Provisional Grand Officers and possibly delegates from
Jefferson Lodge. This meeting, however, has been
designated as the "First Grand Lodge meeting of the
Order." At this meeting the following were elected:
J. J. Upchurch, Grand Master Workman.
O. M. Barnes, Grand General Foreman.
A. Klock, Grand Overseer.
R. Grieve, Grand Secretary.
P. Linen, Grand Treasurer.
D. Keeling, Grand Chaplain.
D. H. Bush, Grand Guide.
J. Carraway, Grand Sentinel.
P. Oster and A. Oster, Grand Trustees.
This meeting is important as showing the growing
interest manifested in the insurance feature, which
theretofore had apparently received but slight considera-
At this meeting Upchurch presented an amended Ar-
ticle XXII, designated as "Insurance Article'' which was
adopted and became a part of the Constitution.
The importance of this effort to place this feature
of the Order upon a systematic basis of operation is
deemed of sufficient interest to warrant its insertion in
full as follows :
Section 1. Each and every candidate for initiation shall
pay to the F. the sum of one dollar for insurance, and the
sum of all such payment, to be known as the Insurance Fund,
shall be placed by each individual subordinate lodge in bank,
or other secure place, from which it can be drawn at sight,
when called for by the Grand Lodge, or the immediate neces-
sity of the subordinate lodge, as hereinafter provided.
Sec. 2. The highest policy of insurance guaranteed by this
Constitution shall not exceed Two Thousand Dollars, and
until such time as the above sum shall have been subscribed
to, at the rate specified in Sec. 1, the issue of insurance policy
shall be equal in amount, in dollars, to the actual number of
members in the Order.
Sec. 3. On the death of a brother, the Relief Committee,
through the Trustees shall draw the amount of insurance
held by the subordinate lodge of which the deceased has been
a member, and after having defrayed all funeral expenses,
deliver the balance to his family or heirs: provided, however,
that the lodge shall be assured and satisfied that the money
thus placed at their disposal shall be judiciously used by and
for the maintenance of the family of the deceased; otherwise
it shall be held in trust by the lodge and delivered in such
sums and at such times as the circumstances of the family
may demand. Should it so happen that the death of two or
more brothers occur at the same time, the amount of insur-
ance fund on hand shall be equally divided between the
families or heirs of each, and as soon thereafter, as provided
in Section 5, this Article, when the insurance assessment shall
be collected, the balance to which the heirs are entitled shall
immediately be forwarded to the respective claimants.
Sec. 4. The Recorder of the subordinate lodge in which
a death may happen, shall immediately notify the Grand Re-
corder of the fact ; when the Grand Lodge shall collect the
several sums of insurance fund held by each and all the other
subordinate lodges, and forward the amount to the Recorder
of the subordinate lodge of which the deceased brother was a
member; and said lodge shall see that the entire sum thus
placed in its hands shall be properly and judiciously applied
for the benefit of the family or heirs of the deceased.
Sec. 5. To replace the insurance fund drawn on the occa-
sion of the death of a brother, each member shall pay to the
Financier of his respective lodge the sum of one dollar: pro-
vided, however, that the number of members in the Order
does not exceed two thousand, but if over two thousand, the
Grand Lodge at its regular stated session shall designate the
pro rata assessment which shall be paid to furnish the maxi-
mum amount of insurance, which shall be placed as provided
in Section 1.
Sec. 6. Any member refusing or failing to pay the insur-
ance assessment within thirty days after being duly notified
by the Financier shall forfeit his membership in the Order.
And any subordinate lodge failing to forward the amount of
insurance held by it for the term of twenty days after being
duly notified by the Recorder of the Grand Lodge, shall for-
feit its charter; and all books, papers, and other property
shall be placed in the possession of the District Deputy
G. M. W.
Sec. 7. The Financier of each subordinate lodge shall keep
a record of all business relating to insurance, in a book set
apart for that purpose alone.
Sec. 8. A member fifty years of age or upwards, feeling
incapable of further pursuing daily manual labor, and who
can exhibit an honorable record in the Order for ten succes-
sive preceding years, desiring to enter upon a trade or busi-
ness more suitable to his declining health or strength, may,
upon application to the lodge in which he is a member, ob-
tain half the amount of insurance to which, in case of his
death, his family or heirs would be entitled.
Sec. 9. When the insurance contribution shall have
reached a sum not less than one thousand dollars, any mem-
ber whose record is of good standing for one next preceding
year, and clear of all charges on the books, rendered by dis-
ease or accident permanently incapable of supporting himself
or family by manual labor, and wishing to enter upon busi-
ness suitable to his physical condition, may receive insurance
in the sum of one-fourth the amount then on hand. And to a
brother afflicted with total disability, the above sum of one-
fourth the amount then on hand shall be issued by install-
ments at such times and in such sums as the lodge may de-
Sec. 10. A brother entitled to the provisions set forth in
Sections 8 and 9 shall not be permitted to enter upon a busi-
ness that may have a tendency to bring disrepute or. dishonor
on himself or the Order, or which may lead directly to favor
intemperance, or Immorality, or vice. And no member shall
be entitled to the privileges set forth in Section 9 who may,
by disreputable means reduce himself to a condition of dis-
Sec. 11. When an aged or disabled brother shall make
application for insurance, as per Sections 8 and 9, the M. W.
shall appoint a committee of five, who shall thoroughly, rig-
idly and impartially investigate the character and record of
the applicant — the kind of business he contemplates entering
upon, and his qualifications and ability to conduct the same
successfully; and, in writing, report to the lodge thereon, at
each of three successive regular or stated meetings, when a
decision shall be rendered, subject, however, to the approval
of the Grand Lodge, at its annual or semi-annual session. A
majority of the above committee shall be chosen from the
list of elective officers of the Lodge.
Sec. 12. Any member of the committee failing to promptly
comply with the requirements of Section 11, or who may by
fraudulent representations tend to deceive the lodge, thereby
producing a partial or unjust decision, shall be suspended or
expelled, as the Lodge may determine.
Sec. 13. When it is definitely decided to extend to any
brother the privileges set forth in Sections 8 and 9, it shall be
the duty of the Supreme Lodge, before paying any money to
said brother, to demand and receive from him his bond, duly
and legally drawn up and endorsed by two responsible parties,
for an amount equal to that which he receives from the Insur-
ance Fund, as security for his observance of, compliance with,
and maintenance of all and every requirement of this Consti-
tution, at all times and under any and all circumstances dur-
Sec. 14. A brother may designate and have recorded in the
insurance book the person or persons whom he may choose to
recognize as his legal heir or heirs ; and have the same changed
at any time he may so desire.
Sec. 15. Should no such designation and record be made
by a brother, the S. L, shall, at its discretion, select one or
more, or divide in equal shares among the following relatives
of deceased; wife, children, father, mother, sister and brother.
Sec. 16. When no heir shall have been designated, accord-
ing to Section 14, or the lodge knows of no legal heir of a
deceased brother, the amount of insurance in the hands of each
Subordinate Lodge shall thereafter be known as the Relief
Fund, to be used in affording relief to brothers out of employ-
ment, or traveling in search of the same, or other assistance to
a brother in distress; in which event the Insurance Fund shall
again be replenished, as provided in Section 5.
Sec. 17. A member who has not received the degree of
Master Workman shall not be entitled to the benefits of insur-
ance, as set forth in Sections 8 and 9.
While credit is given to Upchurch for the presenta-
tion of the above amended article of laws, no doubt he
had the assistance of his associate officers and other
members of Jefferson Lodge. Upchurch's mind was not
formed in such a manner as rendered him efficient in
working out practical business details. His broad
philanthropy grasped only the idea of benefits to be
desired, trusting to the bond of fraternal obligation to
fulfill necessary details to proper execution. Walker in
this regard was much more efficient than Upchurch and
claimed, with possible justice, that equal credit is due
him in this matter of the amended article.
Nearly one year had now elapsed since the organiza-
tion of Jefferson Lodge and yet, up to the meeting
October 6th, 1869, the records are silent as to any interest
being taken in the insurance feature. No deaths had oc-
curred in the lodge and as the original provision of the
law did not contemplate putting this feature into opera-
tion until the Order numbered one thousand members,
it remained as an object to be accomplished in the future.
The amended "Insurance Article," however, shows that
there had been a growing interest in this feature of the
organization, and that it had not been so overshadowed
by the main purpose as to become an unimportant and
discarded part thereof.
Under the new law, the insurance feature was to go
into immediate operation. The "Insurance Fund" was
to be established under the supervision of the Grand
Lodge Officers, and each Subordinate Lodge was to cre-
ate the same by the collection of one dollar from each
member, the same to be held, by the lodge, until called
for by the Grand Lodge when it was to be paid over
to the family or heirs of the deceased brother.
Until such time as the membership reached two thous-
and, the amount to be paid the widows and orphans
was to be one dollar for each member, but in no case
to exceed two thousand dollars. Each member was re-
quired to place his dollar in the fund in advance so that
no delay could be had in its immediate payment as soon
as death had taken the support of the bread winner from
In the light of to-day, with the manifold laws in force
governing Fraternal Benefit Societies, how simple and
meager seem the few short paragraphs that formed the
original basis upon which such mammoth structures have
since been builded. Firm and unbounded reliance was
placed in the obligations of the members to be true and
faithful, one to the other. Integrity of purpose, the
forefront attribute of the mind of upright and unselfish
men, formed the reliance of these pioneer fraternalists
and made elaborate details unnecessary to the accomplish-
ment of their humitarian purposes. That this confidence
and reliance was truthfully a characteristic of these pion-
eers, generating a loyalty to the society of pronounced
tenacity, the early days of their history give ample proof.
It is safe to say that not one of these pioneer fraternal-
ists possessed any technical knowledge of life insurance.
The word "insurance" to them meant "protection", pure
and simple; mortuary tables and scientific deductions
therefrom were unknown to them and, no doubt, had
they had any information regarding such tables and rates,
they would have looked upon them as a cunning subter-
fuge of the Life Insurance Companies by which to en-
hance the profits of their business. The lack of know-
ledge in this regard is not traceable to the more than
general ignorance of these men, but to the fact that life
insurance in this country was still in its infancy and that
little or no knowledge existed even among the more
learned and intelligent as to the scientific basis upon which
the business was conducted. Fifty years ago it was a
rare occurrence to find a man of moderate income who
held a life insurance policy. The rates were very high
and confidence in the system was, by no means, firmly
established so those only who were financially well to do
and who were willing to take a chance of the future
solvency of the company were holders of policies. Life
insurance as it then existed made but slight appeal to
the poor man, for while he felt the need of protection for
his family he neither had the requisite confidence nor the
financial ability to avail himself of the opportunities pre-
The insurance these pioneer fraternalists had in mind
was a broad and unselfish humanitarianism, restricted it
is true, to the common laboring classes with special refer-
ence to those engaged in mechanical pursuits, by which
they sought to relieve the widows and orphans of their
deceased members, from pecuniary loss and distress when
the main support had been removed. This worthy object
appealed to them and incited a spirit of co-operation such
as made them willing to contribute, by organized method,
when death invaded their ranks.
In anticipation of a possible increase in membership to
two thousand, an expectation far removed in the dim vista
of the future, they set the limit at which their benefac-
tions should cease.
The spirit of co-operative helpfulness did not stop
with the provisions made for the care of the widows and
orphans but, as set forth in the section of the law en-
titled ''Disability" it was extended to the living members
as well. From the Insurance Fund protection was to be
extended to disabled brethren who were disqualified to
perform manual labor, by assisting them to enter some
business suited to their infirmity, by which they could
support their family. Careful investigation * was to be
made by the lodge as to the character, habits and adapta-
bility of the brother to the business selected, before his
Further, a "Relief Fund", under specified conditions
was provided for, to be available in assisting members
out of employment or in distress.
Utopian as some of these provisions appear, yet they
emphasize, in no uncertain degree, the unselfish co-opera-
tive spirit that pervaded the ranks and which constituted
the main reliance for success. It may be questioned, if
in the evolution to more practicable and scientific methods
which have occurred during the near half-century of their
history, Fraternal Benefit Societies have not lost some of
that commendable co-operative and helpful spirit so pro-
nounced and characteristic of these pioneer days.
FIRST CONTRIBUTION TO INSURANCE FUND.
In the minutes of Jefferson Lodge, November 24,
1869, ^ is recorded that thirteen dollars was received for
"insurance." This is the first entry in the records of the
lodge setting aside, as a separate fund, any money col-
lected from the membership for this distinctive purpose.
The election of a Financial Secretary a few meetings pre-
vious, and instructions for him to notify members to pay
the "insurance" due from them, proves conclusively that
this feature of the organization had been for sometime
previous, contemplated and understood by the members,
although nothing is recorded on the minutes, making pro-
visions therefor, other than that contemplated in Article
XVII, as adopted at the organization of the lodge and as
amended at the meeting of the Provisional Grand Lodge
October 6, 1869.
What seer with prophetic vision could, forty-five years
ago, have anticipated that from this diminutive germ there
was to spring forth a living active force that in so short a
time would spread its influence throughout the world of
finance and become a boon of protection to millions up-
on millions of people? Who, even in the wild flights of
imagination could have aimed so high as to prophesy that
from this starting point of small contribution to a noble
and exalted purpose, there would come the establishment
of a firm and lasting system of mutual co-operation, the
benefactions of which, in so short a time would reach
the marvelous sum of nearly two thousand, two hundred
and fifty millions of dollars, and that at this present time,
this great work continues with increased vitality, dis-
pensing nearly one hundred millions annually, in pro-
tecting the homes of those within its fold when sickness
or death has entered. When we contemplate this mar-
velous growth of an idea working itself out in practical
humanitarianism, we look in vain for a parallel in other
departments of social or business enterprise.
NEW LODGES ORGANIZED.
In January, 1870, the second Lodge in Pennsylvania
was organized at Corry, which was known as Corry
Lodge No. 2. Following.soon after, Franklin Lodge No.
3 was instituted at Franklin, Pa.
On March 16, 1870, action was taken by Jefferson
Lodge No. 1 giving consent to the organization of an-
other Lodge in Meadville, Pa. Jefferson Lodge, up to
this time, had been very prosperous. Its membership
had increased to more than one hundred ; it had moved
into a new hall, which had been newly furnished by the
lodge at the expenditure of quite a large sum; lectures by
college professors and others were given to which the
public was invited and there was manifest a zealous and
progressive spirit among the membership.
Following soon after the consent of Jefferson Lodge
for the organization of a new; lodge, Keystone Lodge No.
4 was organized in Meadville. Walker did not withdraw
from Jefferson Lodge but was an active factor in the
instituting of the new lodge. A number ; of the members
of Jefferson Lodge withdrew and became members of
Keystone Lodge No. 4. At this time there were evi-
dences of friction between Upchurch and Walker, that
in the near future resulted in an open rupture between
them ; each had his adherents and considerable bitter
feeling resulted between the two lodges.
During the year 1870, three additional lodges were
instituted in Pennsylvania : Perry Lodge No. 5, North
East; Petroleum Lodge No. 6, Titusville; Union Lodge
No. 7, Union Mills, and preliminary steps had been
taken toward organizing others.
The above named lodges were established through
the influence of the men connected with the railroad
shops at Meadville and the membership was, in the main,
composed of mechanics and laboring men in the employ
of the Atlantic and Great Western Railroad Company
SECOND MEETING OF THE PROVISIONAL
A meeting of the Provisional Grand Lodge was held
at Meadville, Pa., July 4, 1870. The minutes of this
meeting, so far as the writer is informed, were never put
in printed form, but a copy of the actions had by the
Grand Lodge, as promulgated by the Grand Recorder to
the Subordinate Lodges, is available and among other
actions, a series of resolutions passed by the Grand Lodge
are given and from these we quote some that are consid-
ered of sufficient importance to be inserted herein as
*t» *t" *K "v- *j* *fc *t»
"4th. That all white workingmen, twenty-one years
of age and upwards, of good moral character, and whose
interests are identical with those of labor, are eligible for
membership in the Order.
"5th. That Lawyers and Saloon-keepers are not
eligible for membership in this Order (This clause to be
placed in the Secret Work and (not) to be printed in the
"6th. That we, as a body, recognize no political party
either in or out of the lodge room, and hereby pledge our-
selves never to support 'any man who is not in favor of
elevating the mechanic and laborer to that position which
God, in His wisdom, created him to fill. And, in no case,
will we countenance the man of wealth who will not in-
vest his capital in some manufacture, so as to give em-
ployment to the laboring classes.
"7th. That should any member use the name of the
Order politically for self aggrandizement, he shall be
expelled from the Order.
"14th. That the introduction or discussion of relig-
ious subjects in a lodge of the Order, is strictly pro-
hibited and no brother outside of the lodge room shall,
by word or action, involve the name or work of the Order
in connection therewith.
"15th. That introduction or discussion of political
subjects in a lodge of this Order, is strictly forbidden and
no brother shall, by word or action, involve the name or
work of the Order in connection therewith."
In the omitted sections of the actions of the Grand
Lodge no reference is made to "insurance" matters. The
attention apparently was entirely directed to such details
as tended to perfect the main purpose of the organization,
as heretofore enunciated. The class prejudices revealed
by the restrictive measures adopted, emphasize, in no
small degree, the moving designs still animating the con-
trolling power of the society.
The classing of lawyers and saloon-keepers in the
same debarring resolution, may raise a question of wise
discrimination upon the part of these pioneer fraterna-
lists ; perhaps, were they alive today, they would acknow-
ledge their error as to the former, but as to the latter
their good judgment has been amply verified.
FORMATION OF THE GRAND LODGE OF
PENNSYLVANIA, A. O. U. W.
In the latter part of the year 1870, seven Subordi-
nate Lodges were in existence in the State of Pennsyl-
vania and one Lodge in Ohio. Under the provisions of
the Constitution, the Lodges in Pennsylvania were enti-
tied to the organization of a Grand Lodge, to supplant
the Provisional Grand Lodge. A meeting was held in
Meadville, Pa., December 10, 1870, at which were present
the Provisional Grand Lodge Officers and Representa-
tives of four of the Subordinate Lodges. Petition was
made to Upchurch, as Provisional Grand Master Work-
man, to call a meeting of delegates for the formation of
a Constitutional Grand Lodge. This he refused to do
and the Representatives who were present at the meeting,
passed a series of resolutions condemnatory of the act of
the Provisional Grand Master Workman, in his refusal to
issue the call and they joined in a call for a convention to
be held in Corry, Pa., December 24, 1870, for the purpose
of taking preliminary steps for the formation of a Grand
Lodge. Upchurch justified his refusal to act favorably
upon the petition of a majority of the Representatives of
the Subordinate Lodges in this matter, holding that the
section of the law under which the lodges demanded the
call to be made had reference alone to lodges outside of
the State of Pennsylvania. There had been apparent for
some time, a growing antagonism between Upchurch and
Walker, both contending for leadership and both having
adherents among the members. Walker was foremost in
pressing for the formation of the Grand Lodge and Up-
church, no doubt, thought his prerogative as the head of
the Order was being invaded.
Thus matters stood when delegates from six of the
Subordinate Lodges met in Corry, Pa., December 24,
1870, and proceeded to take preliminary steps toward the
formation of the Grand Lodge, A. O. U. W., of Pennsyl-
vania. ' W. W. Walker, Meadville, was elected Grand
Master Workman; J. F. Allen, Corry, Grand Recorder;
H. G. Pratt, Corry, Grand Receiver, and other officers
to fill the various stations. Upchurch was not present at
the meeting but sent notice that "if the delegation passed
resolutions not conflicting with his authority, he would
sanction them." No business, other than the election of
officers, was transacted and this meeting adjourned to
meet December 29, 1870, which meeting was designated
FIRST REGULAR MEETING OF THE GRAND
At the meeting December 29, 1870, the officers elected
at the former meeting were duly installed ; changes were
made in the Unwritten Work ; a new password was pro-
vided and instructions given that it was to be communi-
cated only to such members of the Order as belonged to
lodges that adhered to the legally constituted Grand
Lodge and such only as subscribed to a revised Constitu-
tion to be promulgated by an authorized committee of
which Walker was a member.
The annual sessions of the Grand Lodge were fixed to
meet the second Tuesday of January and the semi-annual
sessions were to be held in July of each and every year.
A motion was adopted "That the emblems of this
Order be a Protractor and Triangle, placed in a conven-
ient position." A committee was appointed to revise the
Ritual and prescribe the paraphernalia for the Order.
The Recorder and Receiver were required to give
bond for the faithful performance of their duties, in the
sum of two thousand dollars each, but no salary was pro-
vided for their services.
The following action, afterward incorporated in the
revised Constitution, is important as definitely providing
for the organization of a Supreme body that should
exercise authority over all Grand Lodges and thereby
weld the Order together as a whole :
"Moved and carried — That five Subordinate Lodges
shall be sufficient to establish a Grand Lodge in any State
and that three Grand Lodges shall be sufficient to estab-
lish a Supreme Lodge, and until such Supreme Lodge is
established, this State Grand Lodge shall act as Supreme
Another important action was the appointing of a
committee to procure an act from the Legislature of the
State of Pennsylvania, incorporating the Grand Lodge.
Mr. A. M. Martin, a member of Corry Lodge, was, at the
time, a member of the State Legislature, and to him, in
connection with Grand Master Workman Walker, Grand
Receiver Pratt and J. F. Allen, was assigned the duty of
preparing and procuring the act.
The only reference to insurance matters that appears
in the meager minutes of the session is the introduction
of a resolution "That no brother be entitled to insurance
until he receive all the degrees," which was not adopted.
After the appointment of various committees and act-
ing upon other matters of minor importance, the Grand
It is worthy of note here that in viewing the compo-
sition of the Grand Lodge, that there exists evidences of
departure from the restrictive rule, limiting membership
to mechanics, mechanic helpers, etc., as provided in the
Objects and Constitution, as first adopted, for among the
members present at this first meeting of the Grand Lodge
were two newspaper men and one lawyer.
After the passage of a resolution directing the Grand
Master Workman to call a special session of the Grand
Lodge as soon as the action of the Legislature on the
granting of a Charter was received, the Grand Lodge ad-
The organization of a Grand Lodge in opposition to
Upchurch and the other Provisional Grand Lodge Offi-
cers, led immediately to a separation of the membership
— part adhering to Upchurch and recognizing the Pro-
visional Grand Lodge Officers as the controlling power to
which they owed allegiance, while another part adhered
to Walker and the newly constituted Grand Lodge. Al-
though Walker had taken part in the organization of the
Grand Lodge as a representative of Jefferson Lodge, the
lodge afterwards gave its adherence to Upchurch and rec-
ognized the authority of the Provisional Grand Lodge
Officers. Walker, soon after the organization of the
Grand Lodge, withdrew from Jefferson Lodge and joined
Keystone Lodge. Franklin Lodge No. 3, as a lodge, also
rendered allegiance to the Upchurch wing. In nearly
every lodge there existed a division of sentiment and the
contention between the different adherents waged with a
zealous bitterness far removed from the brotherly in-
junctions so forcibly imposed by the lessons and obliga-
tions of the Order. It is difficult to determine the merit
or demerit that should attach to either Upchurch or
Walker, in bringing about such a rupture in the infant
society that, for a time, gave promise of relegating it to
the shades of oblivion. No principle of importance was
involved in the controversy as both were in happy accord
as to the objects to be attained. The rupture is clearly
traceable to that ambitious desire on the part of both
Upchurch and Walker to be the acknowledged leader of
The total membership at this time did not exceed two
hundred and fifty and was about equally divided between
the two factions.
CALLED SESSION OF THE GRAND LODGE.
On February 21, 1871, a special session of the Grand
Lodge was held in Corry.
The occasion of holding this special session was for
the purpose of considering the report of the committee
on revision of the Constitution and Laws and the com-
mittee on new ritual and secret work which had been
appointed at the last meeting of the Grand Lodge.
The revision of the laws as proposed by the com-
mittee, and which was adopted with a few minor amend-
ments, followed closely the principles enunciated in the
former laws but were much more full and complete in
detail, showing a better conception of requirements nec-
essary for practical government of the society. A tenta-
tive "Constitution of the Supreme Lodge" was formu-
lated to govern until such time as that body should be
regularly formed, and until such time the State Grand
Lodge of Pennsylvania was to act as the Supreme Lodge.
The Supreme Lodge was to be organized as soon as
three State Grand Lodges were instituted.
In these new laws the "Objects" of the society as
enunciated in the first laws adopted, were incorporated
with a change in the first section by inserting "Work-
ingmen" in place of "Mechanics and Mechanics' helped
and those regularly employed in any branch of the me-
chanical arts," and the addition of the following two
"9. To discountenance the introduction of all species of
labor that may tend to injure or degrade workingmen or the
"10. To oppose monopolies of whatever kind and palpable
favoritism whether it comes in the shape of land grants, sub-
sidies or otherwise."
The relative powers and functions of the Supreme
Lodge, the Grand Lodges and Subordinate Lodges were
set out in separate and distinct parts of the laws. The
duties of officers of the several bodies were defined more
specifically than in the former laws, and the official titles
of some were slightly changed.
The powers of the Supreme Lodge were set forth as
Sec. 1. The Supreme Lodge, Ancient Order of United
Workmen, is the Supreme Power of the Order.
Sec. 2. It is the source of all legitimate authority over
the Order, and possesses as such, absolute power over the
same, and all the work belonging thereto; to it belongs the
exclusive right to establish, regulate and control the forms,
ceremonies, written and unwritten work, and to change,
alter, or annul the same; to provide and print all forms, cere-
monies, cards, odes, and rituals, and to prescribe the style of
regalia and emblems.
Sec. 3. To it belongs the power to establish the Order in
States, Districts, Territories or Foreign Countries, wherein
the same has not been established; also, to enact all laws and
regulations of general application for the government of the
Sec. 4. To it belongs the right and power of granting
charters or dispensations to Grand Lodges and to Subordinate
Lodges in jurisdictions where no Grand Lodge exists.
Under the laws governing Grand Lodges power was
given to "have jurisdiction over Subordinate Lodges
within the State in which the Grand Lodge was orga-
nized." To it was given "the right and power of grant-
ing charters, of suspending or taking away the same, up-
on proper cause; of receiving and hearing all appeals; of
redressing all grievances arising in the lodges under its
jurisdiction ; of enacting laws for its government and
support ; provided the same do not conflict with the laws
of the Supreme Lodge."
Subordinate Lodges were to consist of not less than
ten members, and the qualifications and fees to be paid
were as follows :
Sec. 1. No person shall be admitted to membership in this
Lodge, unless he be a white male, of the full age of twenty-one
years, of good moral character, able and competent to earn
a livelihood for himself and family, and a believer in a Su--
preme Being, the Creator and Preserver of the Universe.
The initiation fee shall not be less than five dollars; for appli-
cants over fifty years of age, ten dollars.
Up to the time of the adoption of this Constitution, no
mention in the laws or ritual had been made as to age at
which members w r ere to be admitted other than the mini-
mum requirement of twenty-one years.
There existed, however, a sort of accepted under-
standing among the membership that one over sixty years
was not a desirable addition to the ranks, but such restric-
tion was not an imperative one and if a particularly de-
sirable person was proposed, this limit was no debarment.
That it was recognized that men in the higher ages
brought to the society an increased risk along the pro-
tective provisions of the law, finds recognition in the fact
that applicants over fifty years of age were required to
pay ten dollars as an admission fee in place of five, the
fee required of those joining under that age. The con-
tribution, however, to the insurance fund was to be an
equal amount for all ages.
As special interest centers in the tracing of the evolu-
tion of the protective or "insurance" feature of the so-
ciety, the following amended article as adopted by the
Grand Lodge is given in full :
Sec. 1. Each and every member, upon attaining the third
degree, shall pay to the F., the sum of one dollar and five
cents for insurance ; the sum of all such payments to be known
as the insurance fund, shall be placed in bank or other secure
place, from which it can be drawn at sight, when called for by
the Supreme or Grand Lodge, or the immediate necessity of
the Subordinate Lodge, as hereinafter provided. (The extra
five cents to be used for defraying expenses of forwarding
Sec. 2. The highest premium guaranteed by this Consti-
tution shall not exceed the sum of two thousand dollars; and
until such time as the above sum shall have been subscribed to
at the rate specified in Sec. 1, the issue of insurance premiums
shall be equal in amount, in dollars, to the actual number of
members of the third degree; as soon as the number of mem-
bers of the third degree shall be more than two thousand, the
amount assessed shall be pro rata on each member to make
up the amount of two thousand dollars.
Sec. 3. On the death of a brother of the third degree, the
Trustees shall draw the amount of insurance held by the
Subordinate Lodge of which the deceased was a member, and
pay the same immediately to his heirs.
Should it so happen that the death of two or more brothers
occur at the same time, the amount of the insurance fund on
hand shall be equally divided between the heirs of each; and
as soon thereafter as the insurance assessments shall be col-
lected, as provided in Sec. 5, the balance to which the heirs
are entitled shall be paid to them.
Sec. 4. The Recorder of the Subordinate Lodge, in which
a death may happen, shall immediately notify the Grand
Lodge of the fact; the Grand Recorder shall notify the Su-
preme Lodge and all Grand and Subordinate Lodges to for-
ward the insurance fund, which he shall collect and forward
the amount to the Receiver of the Subordinate Lodge of which
the deceased brother was a member; and the Trustees shall
see that the entire sum thus placed in his hands be promptly
paid over to the heirs of deceased.
Sec. 5. To replace the insurance fund drawn on the occa-
sion of the death of a brother, each member shall pay to the
F. of his respective Lodge the sum of one dollar and five cents,
which shalL be placed as provided in Sec. 1.
Sec. 6. Each member making application for the Third
Degree shall be examined by a physician as to his physical
ability, a statement of which shall be handed to the R'dr;
and the applicant shall bear the expense of such application.
UPCHURCH RITUAL DISCARDED.
At this meeting the Upchurch ritual was discarded
and a new one adopted of three degrees ; designated as
"Junior Workman, Senior Workman and Master Work-
A lodge regalia was prescribed for Subordinate
Lodge officers, a collar and apron in pattern similar to
that of the Masonic fraternity, with jewels indicating
the official rank, attached to the collar and the name and
number of the lodge on the apron ; for the members the
apron alone. The color was to be scarlet for the collar
and the apron white, the material of the former, velvet,
the latter canvas or lambskin bound with scarlet.
For Grand Lodge officers and members, the same ex-
cept the color was blue and the apron of the same ma-
terial as the collar.
For the Supreme Lodge, the color was royal purple.
The above described regalia continued in use in the
Order with slight changes until 1879 when it was sup-
planted by the adoption of a metal badge attached to a
ribbon of the proper color to designate the different
INCORPORATION OF THE GRAND LODGE.
At this meeting notice was received of the passage by
the Legislature of the State of an act incorporating the
Grand Lodge, and a vote of thanks was given to "Brother
Martin for his services in procuring the Charter."
This act, approved March 9, 1871, by the Governor
of the State, was very broad in the scope of privileges
granted, and is considered of sufficient interest as the
first act of like character to be granted to Fraternal Bene-
ficiary Societies, to be quoted herein :
To incorporate the Grand Lodge of the Ancient Order of
United Workmen, of Pennsylvania.
Whereas, Certain persons, citizens of Pennsylvania, Ohio
and New York, are desirous of forming a corporation to pro-
mote and advance scientific and mechanical pursuits in the
said states, therefore —
Sec. 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Repre-
sentatives of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in General
Assembly met, and it is hereby enacted by the authority of the
same, That William W. Walker, R. M. Ross, Charles James,
James Stranahan, A. Talamo, Josiah F. Allen, Horace G.
Pratt, E. E. Stewart, Thomas Keown, H. G. Comstock, E. G.
Stranahan, Peter Leinen and their successors, be and are here-
by created a body politic by the name, style and title" of The
Grand Lodge of the Ancient Order of United Workmen, of
Pennsylvania, and by such name and title shall have perpetual
succession, and be capable in law of suing and being sued,
pleading and being impleaded, and of purchasing, holding,
granting and receiving in its corporate name, property — real
and personal, and mixed — and of instituting such Subordi-
nate Lodges as it may see fit, under such rules, by-laws and
regulations, as the corporation may establish, not in conflict
with the laws of the Commonwealth.
Sec. 2. The object of the corporation shall be to improve
the moral, mental, and social condition of the members of
the Lodges under its jurisdiction, and to prevent strikes
among all classes, by exhausting all honorable means in its
power for such an end.
Sec. 3. The said corporation shall have a Common Seal
for making and delivering of all legal acts and proceedings,
the same to break or alter at pleasure.
Sec. 4. It shall be lawful for the corporation to create,
hold, and disburse a beneficiary fund for the relief of the
members and their families, of the Lodges established by this
corporation, under such regulations as may be adopted by
the corporation: provided, that such fund shall at no time
exceed five thousand dollars.
Sec. 5. The said corporation may make and constitute
for the same, such officers as it may deem necessary and
proper, whose term of office shall expire on the second Tues-
day of January, of each year.
James H. Webb,
Speaker of the House of Rep's.
William A. Wallace,
Speaker of the Senate.
Approved, the ninth day of March, A. D. one thousand
eight hundred and seventy-one.
John W. Geary,
SECOND ANNUAL SESSION.
The Second Annual Session of the Incorporated
Grand Lodge, as it was designated to distinguish it from
the Provisional Grand Lodge, which adhered to Up-
church, met at Corry, Pa., Jan. 9, 1872.
A semi-annual session had been held at the same
place in July, 1871, but little business of importance was
transacted and but little progress in extending of the
limits of the Order had been made.
At the annual meeting there were present represen-
tatives from four lodges in Pennsylvania, one lodge in
Ohio and one lodge in New York State.
Walker still retained the position of Grand Master
Workman and in his report noted the organization of the
second lodge in Ohio in Cincinnati and the introduction
of the Order in New York State by the organization of
Jadaga Lodge at Jamestown ; another lodge had also been
instituted in Pennsylvania at Erie, known as Rising
Sun No. 8.
At the Semi-annual Session a committee had been ap-
pointed to "confer with a disaffected branch of the
Order" and this committee reported progress, and was
retained for further service. Thus it will be noted that
overtures were already being made to bring about a re-
union of the Order.
Report was made at this meeting of the death of a
member of Jadaga Lodge, Jamestown, N. Y. — the first
death to occur in the Order so far as any official record
appears. The Acting Supreme Recorder reported the
collections for insurance on this claim as two hundred
and sixty-five ($265.00) dollars and that this amount had
been paid over to Mrs. Warren P. Lawson, the widow of
the deceased brother. This amount represented the con-
tribution from all the members adhering to the Incorpor-
ated Grand Lodge at one dollar each, totaling two hun-
dred and sixty-five members at this date.
No change was made in the Insurance Article and it
remained as hereinbefore set out. Note, however, should
here be made of the endeavor to carry out the provision
of the law requiring the applicant to be examined by a
physician before being advanced to the third or Master
Workman degree. Members were admitted to the first
and second degrees without such examination. A blank
form was prepared for this purpose, containing the name,
age, occupation and residence of the applicant, with the
statement by the physician that he had made a physical
examination of the applicant and that he was of "sound
bodily health/' This statement was to be filed with the
Recorder of the lodge.
This blank form might possibly be considered the first
medical blank in use by Fraternal Beneficiary Societies ;
if so, however, it fell far short in efficiency to accomplish
the desired result. The writer hereof was admitted to the
benefits of the Order during the time this form of medi-
cal examination was a requirement and has full know-
ledge of its lack as an efficient measure to accomplish
the end desired. Most of the examinations were made in
the ante-room of the lodge hall and consisted of the
answering of a few questions propounded by the exam-
iner, noting the pulse beat, a thump or two on the chest
and signing of the blank. Superficial as this medical
examination was, it marks the dawning of a recognition
that physical condition was a matter to be reckoned with
if the benefits promised were to prove permanent and
Walker was re-elected to the office of Grand Master
Workman, A. Timerman to that of Grand Recorder and
other officers elected to fill the various positions for the
The next annual meeting was to be held in Mead-
FIRST BENEFICIARY CERTIFICATE.
Soon after the adjournment of the Grand Lodge there
was prepared and supplied to each of the Subordinate
Lodges a book of "Policy of Insurance/' blank forms to
be issued by the Master Workman and Recorder of the
Subordinate Lodge to each member upon his receiving
the third degree.
This Beneficiary Certificate or "Policy of Insurance"
was the first to be issued by Fraternal Benefit Societies in
America, and its wording was as follows :
ANCIENT ORDER OF UNITED WORKMEN.
Policy of Insurance.
This is to Certify, That Brother
is a Master Workman Degree Member of
Lodge, No of , Ancient Order
of United Workmen, and is, at the date of this Certifi-
cate, entitled to all its rights, privileges and benefits ; and
provided he is in good standing at his death, according
to the rules and regulations of the Order. His Life is
Insured By The Order, and on his decease the sum of
Two Thousand Dollars will be paid to such person or
persons as he may, whilst living, direct, as provided by
the rules of the Order. And he now directs that in case
of his death it shall be paid to
Given under the seal of the Lodge at
this day of . . . A , 187. . . .
These certificates or "policies" were issued to all the
members early in the year 1872. No record was kept
of their issuance other than that in the Subordinate
Lodge — the Grand Lodge being ignorant of the number
issued or to whom.
It will be noted that this certificate pledged the Order
to pay full two thousand dollars on the death of the
brother, while the laws then in force only provided for
the payment to the heirs of the deceased brother, the
sum of one dollar for each member in good standing at
the date of the death of the brother. The membership
at this time was less than two hundred and fifty and
consequently the promises put forth in the certificate
could not be fulfilled, under the law. This matter be-
came of importance as will be noted further on.
UNINCORPORATED GRAND LODGE.
The Upchurch wing of the Order, after the separa-
tion, became known as the "Unincorporated Grand
Lodge" and its third meeting was held in Meadville, Pa.,
Feb. 6-7, 1 871.
Immediately following the organization of the Grand
Lodge of the Walker wing and the application to the
State Legislature for an Act of Incorporation, the Pro-
visional Grand Lodge officers had prepared a form of
charter for the Grand Lodge which they had lithographed
and copyrighted ; the intention being to preclude the
using of the name "Ancient Order of United Workmen"
by the other Grand Lodge.
As this copyrighted charter was contended by the
Upchurch branch of the Order, as establishing their right
to the name "Ancient Order of United Workmen," and
also as emphasizing what has heretofore been said as to
the main and controlling purpose of the Order, it is
inserted in full as follows :
Ancient Order of United Workmen.
By Authority of the
Grand Lodge of the United States.
Know all Men by these Presents, That the Grand Lodge of
the State of of the Ancient Order of United
Workmen, do, by these presents, authorize and empower
and their legally elected successors, to con-
stitute a Lodge, to be known as of the
Ancient Order of United Workmen, to be located in the
in the State of for the
purpose of more closely uniting the various branches of the
Mechanical and Scientific Arts; the said Lodge being duly
organized, is hereby authorized and empowered to initiate into
said Lodge any person or persons, duly proposed, approved
and elected, according to the Constitution adopted and set
forth by the Grand Lodge, for the government of Subordinate
Lodges, and to enact a code of By-Laws for government of the
same, Provided Always, that the said Lodge conform to the
Constitution, Rules and Usages as set forth by the Grand
Lodge, and Provided also, that the said Lodge be held in the
..and State aforesaid, and not to be re-
moved therefrom without the knowledge and consent of the
Grand Lodge of the State aforesaid. In default thereof, this
charter, with all books, papers, money and property, real and
personal, whatsoever, shall be delivered to the Grand Lodge,
or its Deputy, for said district, for the benefit and use of the
said Grand Lodge.
Given under our hands, and having the seal of the Grand
Lodge attached, this day of A. D. 18
G. M. W.
G. R'vr G. R'dr.
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1871, by
J. J. Upchurch, J. O. Rockwell and Robert Grieves, in trust
for the Provisional Grand Lodge of the A. O. U. W. of the
United States, in the Copyright Office, Library of Congress,
Washington, D. C.
The meeting February, 1871, included delegates from
all of the lodges that adhered to Upchurch and no doubt
these delegates were elected with his full consent and
direction as Provisional Grand Master Workman. Up-
church was still a resident of Levittsburg, Ohio, at which
place he had organized a small lodge among the railroad
men, but retained his membership in Jefferson Lodge.
This lodge had but short life and went out of existence
soon after Upchurch left the place, the latter part of
1872, at which time he returned to Meadville.
Up to the time of the meeting, February, 1871, the
Provisional Grand Lodge, with Upchurch at its head,
exercised control as the acting Supreme Lodge with ap-
parently no other authorization than that which it had
originally received from Jefferson Lodge when it was
first called into being. This meeting of the Grand Lodge
was, therefore, the first meeting of the Unincorporated
Grand Lodge wherein delegates duly elected were ad-
mitted and the Grand Lodge formally instituted as a
The Provisional Grand Lodge officers were super-
seded by those elected by the representatives, J. J. Rock-
well, Franklin, Pa., being chosen Grand Master Work-
man. Provision was made for a Grand Executive Com-
mittee and authority was given it to act as Provisional
Grand Lodge of the United States. Upchurch was made
chairman of this committee. In this committee was
vested the prerogative of legislative and executive con-
trol of the Order, making the Grand Lodges subservient
thereto until such time as the authority of the commit-
tee was supplanted by the organization of a Supreme
Xo other changes in the laws were made of sufficient
importance to be noted here, the Grand Lodge approving
those previously in force under the Provisional Grand
The Upchurch ritual and secret work were retained.
The second annual meeting of the Unincorporated
Grand Lodge was held in Meadville February, 1872, at
which time Joseph Morehead was elected Grand Master
Workman. Several lodges had been organized during
the past year in Pennsylvania and one in the State of
Iowa, located at Washington, la., and organized Janu-
ary. 1872, by S. B. [Montgomery, a member of Jefferson
Lodge Xo. 1, and an associate of Upchurch and Walker
in the railroad shops at Meadville and who had moved
to Iowa. Upchurch still retained the position as chair-
man of the Grand Executive Committee. Xo important
legislation was enacted at this meeting, and no change
in the laws of moment had been promulgated from the
Grand Executive Committee. X^o death, so far as the
writer is informed, had occurred during the year in this
branch of the Order.
The meeting adjourned to meet at Franklin, Pa.,
The Semi- Annual Meeting, 1872, is of special im-
portance in that at this meeting report was made of a
convention held at Meadville between representatives
from each of the opposing Grand Lodges.
The Grand Recorder, W. S. Black, reported the pro-
ceedings of the convention from which it appears that a
resolution was adopted providing for a union of the two
bodies representing the Order. This resolution was to be
submitted to each of the Grand Lodges for ratification
and if approved, the Order was again to be united. The
Incorporated Grand Lodge had in the meantime met and
rejected the proposal as set forth in the resolution of the
convention. No further efforts were made toward recon-
ciliation of the contending factions, and by vote the
"question of union was indefinitely postponed."
Since the separation, December, 1870, there had been
instituted under the control of the Unincorporated Grand
Lodge, five lodges in Pennsylvania and one in Ohio, mak-
ing in all seven subordinate lodges with a membership of
about three hundred.
Note is here made of the introduction of one in the
Order whose subsequent labors and ability was of marked
account, especially in the earlier periods of the Society's
history — Joseph M. McNair, New Castle, Pa. He was
an enthusiastic friend and supporter of Father Upchurch
and we are indebted to him for the preservation of much
of the data from which these notes of the first five years
of the history of the Order are gathered. He was present
at this Semi-Annual Meeting as a representative of the
lodge lately organized at New Castle, Pa., and took an
active part in its deliberations.
Up to this time, no odes had been adopted for the
opening or closing of the lodge or for use in conferring of
degrees. Brother McNair presented for each of these
purposes, an original ode which was adopted — several of
which are still in use in the Order. His name will appear
in prominent positions as this history advances.
JOSEPH M. McNAIR
The only reference made in the meager minutes of
this meeting as to insurance matters was the approval of
an "Insurance Book specially designed for insurance
accounts in lodges."
The Grand Lodge adjourned to meet in New Castle
AN IMPORTANT ERA.
The period covered from July, 1872, to January, 1873,
inclusive, forms an important era in the history of the
Ancient Order of United Workmen and incidentally,
that of the Fraternal Beneficiary Societies in this country.
It marks the point of divergence from the original con-
trolling object, Upchurch, Walker and their co-fratern-
ists had in mind in organizing and building up of the
Order. It is the time at which a well defined change took
place, wherein the protection feature, which up to this
time had been second and of minor account and consider-
ation, was to assumes the leading place and become hence-
forth, the controlling factor of the organization — elim-
inating within a short space of time the main purposes,
for which both leaders had so ardently contended. To
harmonize the conflict between capital and labor, through
the medium of lodge affiliation, wherein a co-operative
spirit of brotherly care and helpfulness could be gener-
ated and wherein fancied or real wrongs on either side
could be discussed and adjusted was not only the primal
purpose but was that which thus far had been the im-
portant and main object to be accomplished. The insur-
ance feature, at first incidental, had remained up to this
time, secondary in importance and was not put forth as
a primary inducement in gathering adherents to the
Order. This condition was about to be changed and the
above noted date marks the time at which a change took
place that may properly be stated as the starting point of
Fraternal Beneficiary Societies, as they hare developed
and as they are known today.
Upchurch viewed with great regret the change of di-
rection towards which the policy of the Order was
tending. It grieved his spirit to see the child of his brain
departing from the pathway he had marked out with such
care, study and devotion. He could not feel in accord
with the growing tendency of diminishing interest in
what he considered the most important feature of the
Walker, however, while adhering tenaciously to the
views of Upchurch, did not have the same deep regret in
noting the change of policy from its original intent and
more readily gave his adherence to the force that was
soon to control the Order.
The condition of the Order at the beginning of this
period, July, 1872, was about as follows: Under the In-
corporated Grand Lodge there were five lodges in Penn-
sylvania, two in Ohio and one in Xew York, with a total
membership of about two hundred and fifty. Under the
Unincorporated Grand Lodge there were seven lodges in
Pennsylvania and one in Ohio, with a total membership
of about three hundred.
The Order had been in existence for four years and
its membership consisted almost entirely of railroad and
other mechanics and laboring men in other avocations of
life; very few merchants, manufacturers or professional
men were to be found affiliated therewith. The dissen-
sions in the Order caused by the separation had retarded
the growth and while a few of the lodges were enjoying
a fair degree of prosperity, the majority, especially the
old lodges, were inactive and decreasing in numbers.
Jefferson Lodge, that at one time had nearly one hundred
and fifty members, had been reduced to less than fifty at
this date. Thus matters stood when the change, as above
forecasted, gathered a more active force than had there-
tofore been displayed, by the introduction of one in the
Order whose name is little known, but who, at this par-
ticular time, proved a factor of developing energy that
had much to do with the future of the Order.
DR. JAMES M. BUNN.
Dr. James M. Bunn, a resident physician of New
Washington, a small town in the central western part of
Pennsylvania, had by some means, come in possession of
a Constitution of the Incorporated Grand Lodge, and be-
came interested and entered into correspondence with
Grand Master Workman Walker, relative to the organi-
zation of a lodge in the city of his residence, and agreed
if succesful there to enter the field as an organizer. He
was duly commissioned to organize the lodge at New
Washington and in a short space of time the lodge was
instituted. He soon after visited Meadville and received
a commission from Walker as Grand Deputy for the pro-
pagation of the Order. Very favorable financial con-
siderations were given him in the way of commissions for
each lodge organized — the Grand Lodge receiving only a
small fee for charter, rituals and odes. Dr. Bunn was
authorized to personally pass upon the physical condi-
tion of applicants, using the blank heretofore referred to,
stating that he had made the examination and that the
applicant was of "sound bodily health. " He was given
full authority to contract for and furnish lodges with
paraphernalia, consisting of collars and aprons for the
officers and members and a set of mechanical tools used
by the lodge in conferring degrees, and such record books
as were needed. The price for organizing, including the
above, was one hundred and fifty dollars for each lodge,
exception being made in a few instances where full sup-
plies were not provided.
It is essential here to state that Dr. Bunn was not
interested, to any great extent, in the Upchurch and
Walker idea of a co-operative labor society, but he saw
the possibility of interesting men in all vocations, in the
matter of insuring their lives for the benefit of their
families. He was also not averse to reaping the financial
gain that might result, providing the movement would be
successful. He possessed qualifications that admirably
fitted him for the position of organizer — pleasing in per-
son, well educated, a good conversationalist, energetic,
persistent and convincing, and a Past Master of the Ma-
The writer in following the history of the early days
of the Ancient Order of United Workmen, has arrived
at the period when he became personally connected with
the Order and with no desire to give undue prominence
to his work in advancing its interests, he has found it
M. W. SACKETT
more convenient in making references to himself, to do
so in the first person, rather than as "the writer" or other-
wise. This, therefore, must be his excuse for what some
may consider an effort to render self more prominent
than modesty would suggest.
For about eight years prior to the organization of
Jefferson Lodge I had been a resident of Meadville, Pa.,
being engaged at that time in the mercantile business. It
is possible I may have had knowledge at that time of the
existence of the A. O. U. W. lodges but if so, it has now
passed out of my memory and my recollection of my first
acquaintance with the existence of the Order was in July,
1872, at which time I was a resident of Pittsburgh, Pa.,
having removed my business to that city in the Fall of
THE ORDER IN PITTSBURGH AND VICINITY.
In July, 1872, Dr. Bunn, having received a commis-
sion from Grand Master Workman Walker, as Deputy
Grand Master Workman of Pennsylvania, came to Pitts-
burgh with a letter of introduction and recommendation
to me from Walker. He was persistent that I become
interested ; presented me with a copy of the Constitution
and Laws and informed me that the Order numbered over
two thousand members and was paying the full two thous-
and dollars on each death that occurred therein. I took
the matter under advisement and made a careful study of
the objects and laws as presented and while I was not
deeply impressed with the central and so far, controlling
objects as set forth, I was impressed with the possibilities
for good that might be attained through the protective
or insurance features. As a business man, I recognized
the inadequate provisions thus far in force to success-
fully carry forward this part of the Order's design.
However, it seemed to me that contained therein was the
germ of a great thought and that if correct business prin-
ciples could be applied and proper safeguards thrown
around accessions thereto, a great work could be accom-
plished for humanity, in the protection of the home and
the relief of the widows and orphans of the members.
Life insurance, as conducted by the-companies then in
existence, had not as I have heretofore indicated, reached
down and attracted the attention and gathered the adher-
ence of those who were dependent on daily toil for the
care of home and family. In a large measure, it was
looked upon as speculation, more or less uncertain, expen-
sive and beyond the ability of the ordinary wage earner
to procure and support.
The thought was prominent in my mind, "if Life In-
surance Companies can make large profits from the insur-
ance of lives, why cannot the people, if equal care in
selection be had and equal business acumen employed, in-
sure themselves by co-operative means, thus bringing its
benefits within their reach?"
Up to that time I had never been associated with any
secret society but had no prejudices in that direction to
be overcome. I recognized the benefit to be derived
from binding the membership of the society under solemn
obligations, to be faithful to the carrying out of the ob-
jects, — that the portals would be better guarded by clos-
ing the door to the outside world and admitting only
those who, after due examination might be found worthy ;
that thus exclusive, a spirit of unselfish brotherhood
would be generated and a bond of union result that would
extend not only to the protection of the home but would
excite into activity a personal interest, one with another,
that would be helpful in intellectual, social and moral
In short, I became deeply interested and enthusiasti-
cally gave my support to Dr. Bunn and aided him ma-
terially in securing sufficient names among my friends to
organize the first lodge in Pittsburgh. This lodge was
known as Pittsburgh Lodge No. 20, and was largely
composed of merchants and their employees in and near
the vicinity to my place of business. They were all, or
nearly all, obtained by my personal solicitation or en-
dorsement. The number "twenty" given to the lodge, in-
dicated that there were in existence at that time, nineteen
other lodges connected with the Incorporated Grand
Lodge, while in fact, as before mentioned, there were
only eight. This incorrect impression lent credence to
the statement that the membership was over two thous-
and and that the protection in the Order was fully assured
to the full amount of two thousand dollars on each death
Pittsburgh Lodge No. 20 was instituted July 17,
1872, six days after the arrival of Dr. Bunn in the city.
In view of the fact that the introduction of the Order
in Pittsburgh and vicinity constituted a notable era in the
history of the society, it will be of interest to follow the
success of the efforts of Dr. Bunn and others who lent
him aid in propogating the work in that section for a
short time after the first lodge had been instituted. In
this we are greatly favored by having a somewhat de-
tailed report made by Dr. Bunn to the Grand Master
Workman, prior to the annual meeting of the Grand
Lodge, January 14, 1873. -The report in full is as
REPORT OP D. G. M. W., JAS. M. BUNN.
Wm. W. Walker, G. M. W., A. O. U. W. of Pa.
Dear Sir and Bro.: — On July 11th, 1872, I received a com-
mission from you as D. G. M. W., of Penna., and jurisdiction,
belonging thereto. I went to work immediately.
On the 17th of July I constituted Pittsburg Lodge No. 20,
composed of good No. 1 men, some of whoni will be at the
present session. Bro. D. G. McMillin was elected and installed
M. W. and Bro. Louis Shaler, Recorder. This lodge was fur-
nished with Regalia and Tools at a charge of $100. I sent
to Cincinnati for their Regalia and received an incomplete
set at what I considered a big price.
July 24th, Indiana Lodge No. 21, Indiana, Pa., was con-
stituted. Bro. Samuel Smith was elected M. W. and A. J.
Hamilton, Recorder. I have since visited them and find them
getting along very well.
August 5th, Robert Blum Lodge No. 22, Pittsburg, Pa.,
was constituted. Bro. John M. Scott was elected M. W. and
C. F. Geofe, Recorder. They are working slow but sure.
August 6th, Robeson Lodge No. 23, Pittsburg, Pa., was con-
stituted. Wm. Robeson was elected M. W. and Geo. Murcot,
August 16th, Iron City Lodge No. 24, Pittsburgh, Pa., was
constituted. James Petrie was elected M. W. and Robt.
August 17th, Industry Lodge No. 25, Pittsburg, Pa., was
constituted. Wm. Gold was elected M. W. and S. M. Gris,
I then took a trip to Philadelphia and worked there for
several days — started several applications but did not succeed
in effecting an organization — returned to Pittsburg and on
Sep. 5th, constituted Manchester Lodge No. 26, Pittsburg, Pa.
J. Chadwick was elected M. W. and J. C. Harper, Recorder.
This Lodge was furnished with Regalia, Stationery, Seal
and Tools, at $130 — all the others above were furnished with
Regalia and Tools at a cost of $100 each.
I then went to work and through the valuable assistance
of D. D. G. M. W., Bro. Sackett, constituted Liberty Lodge
No. 27, Pittsburg, Pa., on Sep. 9th. M. W. Sackett was elected
M. W. and C. H. Bradley, Recorder. I used my last charter
and set of works at that lodge. I had been writing for some
weeks and could hear nothing, and on 10th of Sep. started to
Corry — from there to Spartansburg, and when I reached
there I found a package had been expressed to me the day
before. I had written to Bros. H. G. Pratt, A. M. Martin and
yourself as well as several letters to G. W. R. I paid you a
visit and you promised the matter should not again occur
and you have faithfully kept your word.
I went from Meadville to Oil City and from there I went
off the R. R. and left several applications but failed to get
the required number of applicants to constitute a Lodge — re-
turned to Pittsburg and from there went to Beaver Falls
which place I had canvassed sometime before and left with
bright prospects of success. Upon my return to Beaver Falls,
I constituted Mechanics Lodge No. 28. O. J. Noble was elected
M. W. and H. Ecard, Recorder. I learn the lodge is pro-
I went from there up the F. W. & C. R. R. and I found
the other wing of the Order had a foothold at New Castle
and Sharon and were not in a very healthy condition. I
learned also t^ey were trying to get a foothold in the borders
of Ohio. I immediately notified G. M. W. Bro. Bechtol and
went to Wellsville. Ohio, and found they had been making
strong efforts there. After some time I received a commission
from Bro. Bechtol, and then went boldly to work.
I returned to Pittsburg and constituted Good Intent
Lodge No. 29, Pittsburg, Sep. 30th. David Hughes was elected
M. W. and Jas. E. Harris, Recorder. I charged them $150, for
which they were furnished with Regalia, Tools, all Stationery,
Withdrawal Cards, Policies, Seal, Ballot Box, Ballots, Gavel
and 200 copies Constitution and Laws.
I paid a visit to Latrobe and after succeeding in obtaining
the requisite number of charter applicants, I appointed a
meeting for that evening and having neglected to bring my
Commission with me, my authority was honestly questioned
and it proved a failure. I returned there with my credentials
•on Oct. 2d. and succeeded in establishing a good organization.
I. D. Pores was elected M. W. and John Smith, Recorder.
I then visited Lancaster — worked there some days — failed
to get an organization — went from there to Marietta, meet-
ing with same success — came to Huntingdon, where I had sent
an application — tried there without success — became discour-
aged — and went home with a much lighter pocket book than
when I started. Stayed at home two nights and one day
and started again. Went to Tyrone where I had previously
left an application. The principal trouble appeared to be a
want of knowledge. I tried to enlighten them but they would
not listen. I went from there to Williamsport and canvassed
the whole town for a few days, but it unfortunately happened
about the time the Working Men's Union had a strike and
some persons thought this Order had something to do with it;
and I afterwards concluded I ought to be thankful for having
got off with my life. I went back to Lock Haven — worked
there a while and failed to complete an organization.
I again went home, and went from there to Cherry Tree,
on Oct. 19th and on Oct. 22d., constituted Susquehanna Lodge
No. 31. John Eason was elected M. W. and Peter J. Striffler,
Recorder. I went from there to Cookport Lodge No. 32. Dr.
.A. H. Allison was elected M. W. and D. M. Courath, Recorder.
I then started to Marion and through the assistance of a
good brother of another Order, got the requisite number of
charter applicants and constituted Marion Lodge Oct. 30th.
Went home and found a letter from R. M. J. Reed, of Phila-
delphia, stating that he thought if I would come on, I could
effect an organization. I started immediately. When I ar-
rived there I learned he was ill and could render me no
assistance and all the efforts I could command seemed to fail
I went from there to Danville and worked there some days
without effecting anything — went from there to Pittsburg
where at my last visit I had left an application for Allegheny
Lodge. Found they were progressing finely. Went on to
Wellsville, O., and on Nov. 18th constituted Hope Lodge No. 6,
of Ohio. R. Hirsh was elected M. W. and T. L. Apple,
Returned to Pittsburg and on Nov. 20th constituted Alle-
gheny Lodge No. 34, Pittsburg, Pa. A. N. Hutchison was
elected M. W. and D. S. Simpson, Recorder.
Started from there to Meadville and with your valuable
assistance, succeeded in getting up Star Lodge No. 35, on Nov.
25. C. R. Marsh was elected M. W. and Dr. G. Elliott, Re-
Went from there to Pittsburg — then home — remained there
two days and started out through the rural districts where I
had sent some applications. Heard that I could likely get up
an application at Punxsutawney — spent some days there with-
out succeeding — left there and visited other small towns with
no better success — returned to Pittsburg and on Dec. 12 con-
stituted Excelsior Lodge No. 36, Pittsburg, Pa. T. B. Keller
was elected M. W. and Geo. Fox, Recorder.
Pride of the West Lodge No. 37 was constituted Dec. 18th,
in Allegheny, Pa. J. H. Grub was elected M. W. and Jos.
I started from there to Blairsville, Bro. P. M. W. John Wier
having thought that a good place for getting up a Lodge
When I got there I found they were about getting up a Council
of American Mechanics which they have since effected. On
that account I failed.
I then returned to Pittsburg. On Dec. 28th, Star of the
W T est, Pittsburg, Pa., was constituted. Thos. Jones was elected
M. W. and Wm. Shaw, Recorder. On Dec. 23d. Humboldt
Lodge, Pittsburg, was constituted. Edward Zarnicki was
elected M. W. and Peter Herds, Recorder.
I went from Pittsburg to Kittanning and I failed in get-
ting up a Lodge there.
I returned to Pittsburg and with the valuable assistance of
D. D. G. M. W., Bro. Sackett, and other brothers who worked
with me faithfully, we succeeded in getting up an application
for Bethel Lodge No. 40, Pittsburg, which was constituted
Jan. 8th, 1873. J. W. Craig was elected M. W. and G. W.
On Jan. 11th, Monongahela Lodge No. 41, Pittsburg, Pa.,
was constituted. O. K. Gardner, M. W. and J. A. McKean,
On Jan. 13th, Corry Lodge No. 42 was constituted at
Corry, Erie Co. Wm. A. Jordon was elected M. W. and C. S.
During the term I have written over one hundred letters
and have sent off over three hundred Constitutions and blank
applications. I have been enabled to carry out the instructions
of the Acting Supreme Lodge in regard to Outfits — have suc-
ceeded in getting a uniformity of work and, let me say that
our Noble Order owes its rapid progress, in a great measure,
to our worthy D. D. G. M. W., Bro. Sackett, who has been
untiring in his efforts to advance its interests, in many
instances encroaching on his own convenience and time that
the Order might profit thereby, and I think the members of
Pittsburg and Allegheny will heartily endorse my statement
and agree with me. He should receive the sincere thanks of
the G. L. for his valuable services. I am sorry to find since
coming to Meadville that there are some dissatisfied Bros,
who seem to think your provisions and instructions in regard
to outfits have not been in accordance with their ideas. They
could have better suggested and carried out the entire pro-
gramme than it has been done. I should feel sorry if any of
the previous arrangements were tampered with for all must
admit that the present arrangements have proved far superior
to any that have been heretofore inaugurated.
When I received your commission, I was laboring under the
impression that the numerical strength of our Noble Order
amounted to 4,700, which information I received from a
Brother who is absent from this session. I went to work with
a good heart and a zeal which I felt, feeling satisfied that it
was the best Order upon the face of the earth — one that will
enable a man to meet the pale-faced monster with calmness
and serenity, when he knows in any event his family is
lifted beyond the cold charity of the world. I remained in
ignorance of our strength until after the first death occurred,
and when I look back upon our Order as it was and now look
upon it as it is, I thank God from the bottom of my heart
that I was ignorant for we are now out of the co-operative
system and in the pro rata, and our amounts to be paid at
each assessment will be rapidly decreasing and in a few
years we will hold the proudest place upon God's broad earth
as a beneficial society. Thousands yet unborn will be taught
by their mothers to bless and pray for us who have struggled
through its dark days of adversity and been instrumental in
bringing about the event of prosperity.
All that is required for us to do is to work for its advance-
ment and prosperity. Beyond our greatest hopes will be our
I would suggest that more D. Deputies be put in the field
and use all efforts to advance the Order. Every town in the
State should be canvassed and every city should have its
Deputy and we would soon become a power to be feared by
monopolies, and we would hail with joy the dawning of the
day that would proclaim labor equal to capital.
In regard to fifty sets of tools ordered, twenty-five sets
have been finished and are ready for shipping at any time.
Of the pins, I have had one hundred made, and as you
suggested have made arrangements for having the design
patented — a suggestion which I heartily approved.
And in conclusion I would say that I feel satisfied that our
Noble Order is on a firm basis which is as immovable as a rock,
and which must in time become the greatest success the world
ever knew anything about.
Jas. M. Bunn, D. G. M. W.
Of the twenty-three lodges mentioned in the report
of Dr. Bunn, fifteen were located in Pittsburgh and Alle-
gheny (now a part of Pittsburgh) cities, seven were in
different sections of the State and one in Ohio. This
work had been done within the space of a little more than
six months by Dr. Bunn, assisted in Pittsburgh and near-
by points by myself and others who gave him enthusiastic
The fifteen lodges in Pittsburgh numbered in mem-
bership at this time more than five hundred and were
constantly adding new members thereto.
It may be a matter of surprise to some, the rapid suc-
cess that attended the introduction of the Order in Pitts-
burgh and other points where its claims for recognition
were presented. As we have already indicated, the time
seemed opportune for the propagation of such a society —
it was a new thought injected into fraternal fellowships
as they existed at that time. It was a practical and sys-
tematic application of co-operative helpfulness that ap-
plied not only to the member himself but reached out and
followed his loved ones when his care was removed by
death. It must be remembered that at this time only
such societies as the Masons, Odd Fellows, Knights of
Pythias, Red Men and some few others of like character,
were in existence, none of which sought other than to
minister to the social and moral welfare of its members
and to assist when temporary discouragements and want
might call for aid. No society had, as yet, conceived the
idea of joining the high design of fraternity with a prac-
tical system of co-operation that should extend to the
widows and orphans, in such measure as would insure
them against want when their main support was removed.
The avenue to such protection was a closed one to the
great majority on account of the financial requirements
then imposed by the speculative Life Insurance Com-
panies. It was, therefore, comparatively easy to interest
men and gain their adherence to a society that gave
promise of filling this great want.
The question of rates and mortality tables entered but
little, if at all, in the work of recruiting membership in
the Order. The motive power was expressed in the
building of a fraternity possessing the lofty aims of those
then in existence but with the added feature of a co-
operative protection definite in a measure, sufficient to
secure to the modest home a competency when death
would enter its portals and remove the main support.
This joining of fraternity with co-operative financial help-
fulness, arrested attention and gathered adherents with
little effort. The essential question to be answered was
as to the integrity of purpose of those who Were con-
ducting its affairs ; were they honest and reliable and
were the dollars contributed, carried with speed and at
the minimum of expense to the fulfillment of the pur-
pose designed? With emphasis placed on the fraternal
fellowship and the personal good flowing therefrom,
members were not troubled with the problems of actu-
arial science of Life Insurance ; they were willing and
anxious to contribute their dollar when called upon, in-
spired by the unselfish desire to have their part in a
grand and noble act of co-operative charity. True, self
motive was not entirely eliminated, for that which they
cheerfully did for others, they in turn, trusted would be
done for their dependents when occasion called for
As I look back and review these pioneer days, so
full of zealous enthusiasm, so permeated by a spirit of
generous helpfulness, so fully merging the thought of
self in that broader and more commendable one of how
to labor and how best to serve the interest and welfare
of a brother fraternalist, I deplore the loss in these latter
days of much of this spirit of devotedness ; the waning of
unselfish interest and the injecting in their place of an
undue amount of that which Father Boynton, of glorious
memory, denominated "Commercialism. "
While there existed a large degree of enthusiastic in-
terest in the lodges in Pittsburgh and vicinity and con-
stant accessions to membership were being had, there
soon became apparent a feeling of distrust of the state-
ments made by Dr. Bunn as to the numerical strength of
the Order. This distrust was emphasized by the fact that
Dr. Bunn when organizing the lodges, had promised to
visit them from time to time and perfect them in the secret
work and give added instructions to the officers in keep-
ing accounts, etc. This he failed to do and after insti-
tuting the lodge and receiving the pay therefor, his in-
terest seemed to wane. Further than this, the discon-
tent was increased by the fact that communications to
the Grand officers brought either no replies or unsatis-
factory ones. A feeling of suspicion arose that gave
promise, if not checked, to culminate in the downfall of
the organization in this section. The replies received
to my personal communications to the Grand Master
Workman were unsatisfactory and as I had been instru-
mental in introducing the Order in Pittsburg, having
given it my endorsement and furthermore feeling a deep
anxiety for its success, I considered it incumbent upon
myself to make a personal investigation as to all mat-
ters connected with the society. To carry out this pur-
pose, I went to Meadville and interviewed Walker. I
found, as heretofore stated, that outside of the lodges in
Pittsburg and vicinity, including those organized by Dr.
Bunn elsewhere, there were only in the incorporated
Grand Lodge, eight small lodges with less than two hun-
dred and fifty members and that a number of these lodges
were inactive and losing members. I also found that
there was no record in the Grand Lodge office of the
members and no record of the amount collected on the
death of a Brother, named Allen, who had died since
July 1872, and other loose and imperfect conditions.
The disclosure of this investigation was very un-
satisfactory and discouraging, when viewed in connection
with the statments made by Dr. Bunn and I felt certain
that a disclosure of the true condition of the Order to
the lodges in Pittsburg would at once result in their
Walker assured me that he had not been a party to
the deception and deplored the unfortunate statements
made by which the members in the new lodges had been
induced to join. I felt confident that if I returned to
Pittsburg and revealed the true condition of the Order,
it would likely result in a rapid disintegration of the
lodges. I, therefore, determined not to disclose the re-
sult of my investigation but to personally take charge
of the lodges in the Pittsburg district, encourage them
to continue active work and so far as possible, remove
suspicion and distrust of the executive officers of the
Grand Lodge. To this end I took a commission as Dis-
trict Deputy Grand Master Workman and entered ac-
tively into the work of restoring confidence among the
membership oi the lodges. I felt that I was justified in
remaining silent as to the true condition, feeling assured
that if the work could be continued until the annual meet-
ing of the Grand Lodge, which was to occur in the space
of a few months, the representation from the Pittsburg
District would be sufficiently large to control the situa-
tion and virtually re-organize the society on more
effiicicent and practical lines.
I recall that within the month following my return
from Meadville, I made forty-six visitations to the lodges
in the district and as far as was in my power, labored
to dispel suspicion, encouraged activity in recruiting-
membership and gave such instructions in the Secret
Work and lodge activities as would maintain and hold
the interest of the membership. My efforts met with
success and all of the lodges continued in a prosperous
condition up to the time of the meeting of the Grand
Lodge January 14, 1873.
GRAND LODGE MEETING 1873.
The Third Annual Session of the Grand Lodge was
held in Meadville, January 14-16, 1873. This meeting was
an important one as upon the legislation enacted at this
time depended largely the future existence of the society.
Effort had been resumed shortly before the Grand Lodge
meeting to bring about a meeting of the two Grand Lodge
Executive Officers to be present at this time and, if possi-
ble, arrange terms of union of the two bodies. Further,
the representatives from Pittsburg and vicinity were to
have the opportunity to examine and ascertain the exact
condition of the Order about which more or less of a
feeling of suspicion and anxiety had existed.
At this time two representatives to the Grand Lodge
were allowed for each Subordinate Lodge. There were
tw r enty-one lodges in Pittsburg and vicinity and forty-
two representatives were present at the meeting from
the new lodges instituted by Dr. Bunn. A special car filled
with representatives and other brethren arrived in Mead-
ville on the morning of the 14th from Pittsburg and were
at once escorted to the lodge room where the Grand
Lodge was in session. No enlightenment had been given
other than that received from Dr. Bunn as to the num-
ber of lodge representatives expected to greet the
new delegates upon their introduction to the Grand Lodge
and none but myself knew how small this number would
The personnel of the delegates from the new lodges
was of high standing and included professional men,
merchants, clerks, mechanics and day laborers of the bet-
ter class. A goodly number were members of the Mason-
ic and other Fraternal societies.
The preliminaries to introduction having been ac-
complished the new delegates were admitted to the Grand
Lodge. It may be imagined that this particular moment
was one of anxiety and nervous strain on my part, as I
was not at all certain that I would be justified in having
withheld information from the membership as to the true
condition of the Order. I recall, as we entered in double
file, myself leading with one John Rebman, who at that
time was Grand Sachem of the Red Men of Pennsyl-
vania, and had proceeded part way across the hall, when
suddenly he stopped the procession, and looking around,
exclaimed in a loud and excited voice "Great God,
Sackett, is this all there is of it?" I urged him forward
and in due form the delegates were instructed into the
mysteries of the Grand Lodge Degree and seated as ac-
Equal surprise to that voiced by Brother Rebman,
was apparent on the part of the other representatives ;
while they had expected to be met and welcomed by, at
least an equal number of delegates as themselves there
were only five present — not enough to fill the different offi-
ces. Brother Walker occupied the chair of Grand Master
Workman, W. H. Comstock that of Past Grand Master
Workman, Dr. Bunn that of Grand Foreman, H. G.
Pratt that of Grand Receiver and O. M. Barnes that of
Grand Inside and Outside Watchman. No others were
present. Grand Recorder, A. Timerman, had died short-
ly before the meeting of the Grand Lodge, which left a
vacancy in that office and immediately after the seating
of the delegates I was appointed to fill that position.
After assuming that position, I arose to give a personal
explanation as to the deception I had allowed to pre-
vail, after full knowledge as to the true condition of the
Order became known to me. The reasons that had in-
duced my silence, as hereinbefore given, were fully set
forth and the sentiment expressed, that culpable as I
might have been, it was overbalanced by the favorable
condition in which we were at the present time placed.
That the Order had now reached such proportions, had
so varied and broadened its original purpose by making
the protective feature the paramount issue of its existence
— that its cordial reception by those to whom its merits
were presented and their ready co-operation gave great
encouragement for success, and that what now was
required was legislation that would systematize and per-
fect its business operations and more securely guard the
The fact was emphasized that on the introduction of
the Order in Pittsburg and vicinity, its main purpose, as
originally contemplated by Upchurch, Walker and their
coadherents, had in a great degree been superseded by
the incidental factor becoming the paramount object and
purpose of the organization.
Further, it was pointed out that the new membership
had no interest in the controversies that had heretofore
agitated the Order and caused a division therein ; that
in numbers it exceeded that of the combined adherents
of the divided factions so was in position to entirely
dominate the situation.
The Representatives accepted in good part the ex-
planations made and with commendable zeal, entered up-
on the task of amending the laws and usages of the
Order, thereby better adapting them to the purpose de-
The first business of importance transacted, was the
appointing of a Committee of five "to confer with the
Committee of the Unincorporated branch of the A. O.
U. W., with full power to form a union with said
branch." The Committee on the part of the Incorporated
Grand Lodge consisted of W. W. Walker, Chairman, M.
W. Sackett, James McCandless, Dr. J. M. Bunn and H.
G. Pratt ; on the part of the Unincorporated Grand Lodge
—J. J. Upchurch, J. M. McNair, Joseph Morehead, J. H.
Williams and Robert Grieves.
The Joint Committee met immediately after the re-
cess of the Grand Lodge and organized by electing J. J.
Upchurch as Chairman, and M. W. Sackett as Secretary.
For a time it seemed impossible to bring into harmony
the two factions and suppress the feeling of irritation that
had existed. Neither side felt disposed to yield control
to the other, especially was this true as to Brothers
Walker and Upchurch, and for a time it seemed that
like former efforts to unite the present one was to prove
a failure. At this juncture, I felt it incumbent upon me
to assert, in no uncertain measure, the position occupied
by the new element of the Order; that it was in posi-
tion sufficiently strong, to dictate the future policy of the
society ; that it had no part or interest in the controver-
sies that had heretofore existed in either faction and
that if union was to be effected, the past must be a closed
record ; that if such could not be the case, then the new
part of the Order would withdraw and form their own
society. The position thus taken had the desired effect
and a sub-committee, consisting of Upchurch, Walker and
Morehead were appointed to draft tentative articles of
union — of this committee I acted as Secretary.
The following Preamble and Resolutions were, after
a lengthy consideration by the sub-committee, reported
to the Committee as a Whole, and unanimously adopted :
ARTICLES OF UNION.
WHEREAS. — We, the undersigned members of the Joint
Committee — convened for the purpose of effecting a union be-
tween the two branches of the A. O. U. W. of Pa., have agreed
upon the following basis upon which to effect the said union,
it is therefore
RESOLVED, — 1. That the incorporated organization elect
three representatives and the unincorporated organization
elect two representatives to the Supreme Lodge — the officers of
the unincorporated organization to make out the certificates
for their representatives which shall be endorsed by the offi-
cers of the incorporated organization.
RESOLVED,— 2. That the two Grand Lodges shall be
united in one body from this time henceforth — the officers of
the incorporated body shall hold their respective offices of
the said united Grand Lodge during the current term — the
officers of the unincorporated organization to have conferred
upon them the full honors of the offices to which they have
been respectively elected; and that officers for the next en-
suing term snail be selected from the now unincorporated
body, after which no distinction shall exist.
RESOLVED, — 3. That each now existing Grand body shall
unite with the other clear of all debt and encumbrances.
RESOLVED,— 4. That the Grand Recorder of the unin-
corporated body shall collect all the statistics and reports of
his Order and forward them to the Grand Recorder of the
RESOLVED, — 5. That we recommend the adoption of the
original Charter Plate with such alterations as may be deemed
necessary by the Committee on secret work.
RESOLVED, — 6. That we, the undersigned, do hereby sol-
emnly obligate and bind ourselves to carry out and fulfill each
and all of the foregoing provisions in good faith, thereby bind-
ing both of the above named bodies to the faithful performance
of the pledges above recorded.
Witness our hands this the fourteenth day of January, 1873.
J. J. Upchurch, W. W. Walker,
Jos. M. McNair, Jas. M. Bunn,
Joseph Morehead, M. W. Sackett,
J. H. Williams, H. G. Pratt,
R. Grieves, Jas. McCandless.
Thus were the bitter controversies that had existed
for nearly four years and which had resulted in severing
the bond of union, happily adjusted and a re-united Or-
der on broader and more practical lines, started on a
new career with hopeful anticipations of success.
The following morning after the conference, Up-
church and the other members of the unincorporated
Grand Lodge Committee, visited the Grand Lodge in
session and were received with the most cordial and fra-
ternal greetings. To Upchurch, especially was it a sore
trial. To him it meant, in a large measure, the abandon-
ment of the foremost ideals he had sought to attain in the
organization of the society. To his credit, however, it
must be said that like the vanquished hero, he bowed
to the inevitable and pledged his support and that of his
associate members, to the new condition.
After the ratification by the Grand Lodge of the re-
port of the Committee on union, a committee was
appointed on revision of the Constitution, Laws and
L^sages of the Order, and report made incorporating
a number of changes; the more essential ones to be
herein noted, were as follows :
i — Providing for the election of five representatives
to the Supreme Lodge.
2 — For the appointing of Committees — On Finance
and Mileage ; on Laws and Supervision ; on Appeals and
Grievances ; Returns and Credentials and on Printing and
Supplies, with duties assigned to each by which the finan-
cial and executive transactions of the officers and lodges
were to be carefully scrutinized, approved and reported
to the next meeting of the Grand Lodge.
3 — The "Insurance Article" was amended by strik-
ing out the extra Five Cents to be used for defraying
expenses of forwarding the amount of the assessment,
leaving One Dollar as the amount to be paid on each
notice issued. It was further enacted that: "Any member
refusing or failing to pay the Insurance Assessment with-
in twenty days after having been duly notified by the
Financier, shall forfeit his right to insurance benefits.
And any Subordinate Lodge failing to forward the
amount of insurance due as per notice from the Grand
Recorder for the term of twenty days after receipt of
notice, it shall be the duty of the Grand Recorder to
notify the Grand Master Workman of the same, whose
duty it shall be to immediately notify such Subordinate
Lodge that the insurance must be forwarded within
ten days from date of his notice. In case the insurance
is not forwarded within twenty days from date of notice
to the Grand Master Workman, the Grand Recorder shall
again notify the Grand Master Workman of the same
when it shall be the duty of the Grand Master Workman
to suspend their charter/'
4 — The law that heretofore had been in force in
both divisions of the Order, while fixing the minimum age
of admission at Twenty-one, had placed no restrictions
as to Maximum age — that an increase liability attached,
as age advanced, had already received recognition as
hereinbefore noted, by the added fee required for ad-
mission after the age Fifty had been reached. This pro-
vision however, had not proved sufficient bar to acces-
sions in the higher ages and it was enacted that "no
applicant over Fifty Years of Age shall be admitted
5 — A further effort was made to insure acceptable
physical examination of applicants by enacting the fol-
lowing : "all persons making application for membership
shall be examined by a regular practicing physician and a
certificate from the same, stating that the applicant is of
sound bodily health, must accompany each application. "
No attempt, however, was msade to formulate a detailed
Medical Examiner's blank upon which report was to be
made. Particular emphasis is placed on the words
"regular practicing," for it had developed that in one
lodge a Veterinary Surgeon had been elected as Medical
Examiner, and in another lodge a Hair Doctor had per-
formed a like function to the satisfaction of the lodge.
6 — A number of other important enactments were
made, showing a progressive conception of the necessi-
ties of injecting business methods in the conduct of the
society among which might be mentioned the require-
ment that every member on acquiring the Third Degree
"shall take out an insurance policy. " That no Subordin-
ate Lodge shall be allowed "to pay up the dues of de-
linquent members and receive the benefit of their in-
surance." A resolution w r as adopted as follows :
Resolved — That the Representatives to the Supreme
Lodge be instructed to recommend the necessity of
uniform legislation in each state, to carry out the prin-
ciples and objects of this Order, and making all Grand
Lodges subject to the laws and regulations of the Su-
preme Lodge, thereby, making the Supreme Lodge the
supreme law of the Order."
W. H. Comstock was elected Grand Master Work-
man for the ensuing year and Acting Supreme Master
Workman until the organization of the Supreme Lodge,
and M. W. Sackett, Grand Recorder and H. G. Pratt,
Grand Receiver, with like respective official powers as
that of the Grand Master Workman, in his relation to the
Supreme Lodge. The three Representatives elected to
formulate the Supreme Lodge were Wm. H. Comstock,
W. W. Walker and M. W. Sackett. The salary of the
Grand Recorder was fixed at Three Hundred Dollars
for the ensuing year.
The Committee to which was referred the report of
Dr. Bunn, reported as follows, which was adopted :
"The report of D. G. M. W. Bro. Bunn is a very
lengthy one. It shows that the Brother has labored hard
for the advancement of our beloved Order and the
present state of the Order is due to a great extent, to
Likewise, the Grand Lodge endorsed the official acts
of Grand Master Workman, Walker; deputies Sackett
and Bunn, commending them "for the zeal and integrity
with which they had performed their several duties in
the respective offices."
The Grand Lodge adjourned with -the greatest har-
mony existing among its members and a zealous enthus-
iasm was apparent, that gave promise of a successful
prosecution of the work of the Order.
EXIT OF UNINCORPORATED GRAND LODGE.
A short time after the adjournment of the meeting
of the Incorporated Grand Lodge at Meadville, Pa., the
Unincorporated Grand Lodge met in New Castle, Pa.
The Committee on Union made its report which was
received with general satisfaction by the members. The re-
quirement in the articles of union providing that the se-
lection of officers of the united body for the ensuing
year should be selected from those who had been mem-
bers of the Unincorporated Grand Lodge, was by un-
animous consent, withdrawn. This was a magnanimous
act upon the part of that body, as the retention of this
provision had been strenuously insisted upon by the mem-
bers of the Committee of Union from the Unincorporated
In accordance with the articles of agreement, two dele-
gates were elected to the formation of the Supreme
Lodge. These delegates were Joseph M. McXair and
William S. Black. Arrangements were made to settle all
financial matters of the Grand Lodge and to turn over
all record books, etc. to the Grand Recorder of the United
We cannot refrain from giving expressions to a feel-
ing of admiration generated by the brotherly unselfish-
ness manifested upon the part of the members who were
thus giving up the organization which they had so
long and zealously labored to maintain. Especially was
it a trial for those who had been prominent in past con-
troversies and who felt that the change of affiliation also
meant the elimination, to a great extent, of the central
purpose they had in view in the conception and organiza-
tion of the society. To Upchurch it meant the burial
of his fondest hope and his cheerful bowing to the inevi-
table, emphasises the noble unselfishness with which he
met the issue.
After singing the Doxology, the Grand Lodge ad-
journed sine die.
SYSTEMIZING THE WORK.
Reluctantly I had accepted the position of Grand Re-
corder and was only induced to do so by the earnest so-
licitation of the members of the Grand Lodge and the
personal desire I felt in getting the business of the or-
ganization into systematic shape. Grand Master Work-
man Comstock, who resided in North East, Pa., was
removed from the center of activity in the Order and was,
therefore, unable to render much assistance in solving the
many perplexities that pressed for solution.
A faint idea of the situation is probably best expressed
by an excerpt from the Grand Recorder's report made
to the Grand Lodge at its Semi-annual session July,
1873, as f ollaws :
Upon assuming the position of Grand Recorder, I found a
large amount of labor to be performed in order to properly
bring up and adjust the proceedings of the Grand Lodge since
its foundation. No regular set of books had ever been kept of
the proceedings of this body since its formation. Printed
pamphlets were the only record, and as they were liable to be
lost I thought proper to procure a Record Book and have
properly transcribed all of the proceedings of this Grand Lodge
since its formation. Also taking the report of your Finance
Committee as a basis, as made at our annual session, I pro-
cured a full set of books, properly transcribed all accounts
from the old books and have endeavored so to keep them that
your Finance Committee can be able to trace all the transac-
tions and report as to the correctness of same.
I also procured entire new books for keeping accounts of
insurance moneys. Also a record book containing names of
Charter applicants, officers etc. of new Lodges. I have also
left space in this book for a record of each Lodge organized
previous to my term, and would request the Recorder of each
Subordinate Lodge to forward to the Grand Recorder, a list of
their Charter members, when organized and their first officers,
that this record may be made complete. This book also con-
tains a full record of the P. M. W. entitled to a seat in the
Grand Lodge. Also a list of suspended and rejected members,
and applicants. I have also procured a variety of blank forms,
etc. which, in my judgment, the Order required.
During the first of the present term, the progress of the
Order was very much retarded, this was owing to a variety
of causes, the most important of which were, the expecting a
new secret work and a desire for the new law that was to
originate from the Supreme Lodge.
I caused the proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Pennsyl-
vania to be published as soon as possible after our session,
showing the amendments made to old law, and sent
copies to each Lodge. Yet many of the Lodges were at a loss
rightly to define them and many letters had to be written to
make the matter plain. Our former D. G. M. W., Jas. M. Bunn,
had entered into an arrangement with some thirteen Lodges
instituted by him, agreeing to furnish them with two hundred
copies each, of Constitution and By-Laws. No provision had
been made by this body to carry out the promises of D. G.
1ft. W. Bunn. The Lodges had paid for these Constitutions
and By-Laws, and made a demand on the Grand Lodge for the
same. Feeling that injustice was being done to these Lodges
and that the progress of the Order would be much retarded by
the non-fulfillment of the contract of the D. G. M. W„ I took
steps to secure as much as possible funds in my hands and
proceeded to get printed the said Constitution and By-Laws.
My books will show to your Finance Committee the transac-
tion. Another cause of dissatisfaction in the Order at that
time, was the erroneous idea of many in regard to the numeri-
cal strength of the Order. Many thought we were over two
thousand strong in Pennsylvania, while the facts show us only
to have been with the addition of the L^nincorporated body
about twelve hundred. Many Lodges could not see why they
were assessed upon each death One Dollar and not pro rata.
This caused the writing of many letters, and a vast amount of
explanation on the part of the Grand Recorder. In this con-
nection I was assisted very much by articles printed in the
Gazette and in the American Working People: both of these
papers opened their columns for such matter as the Order saw
fit to present, and the papers were sent to each Lodge and
much labor on the part of the Grand Recorder saved.
I would urge upon this body the necessity of recognizing
some official organ of the Order, as in my opinion nothing will
be of more positive benefit to the Order than to have, from
time to time, published the workings of the Order, moneys
I am fully persuaded that more stringent laws should be
made in regard to forwarding insurance money. Few of the
Lodges I apprehend have one assessment on hand in the
Lodge, waiting the draft from the Grand Recorder and con-
sequently considerable delay occurs in collecting and for-
warding within the specified time.
Our necessities require a blank form properly making a
report of the death of a Brother, and this Grand Lodge should
by legislation lay down certain requirements. And the blank
form then properly made out, sealed and attested, should be
the guarantee to the Grand Recorder and the Order, that the
brother was justly entitled to Insurance under our laws.
Where there has been any doubt as to what caused the death
of a brother, I have had the Lodge procure sworn statement
of the attending physician.
In conclusion, noting carefully the workings of our noble
Order for the last term, I am fully convinced as to the prac-
tical workings of our insurance feature, mat it will be a glori-
ous success. Its foundation is based upon the only true prin-
ciple of a poor man's Insurance Company. And from time to
time, as the $2000. has been paid to a deceased Brother's
family, and we have witnessed the joy and heartfelt thanks
given to the donors of that fund, and the "God bless you and
the noble Order of the A. O. U. W.," so often repeated, I felt
that there could not be under a Beneficient Providence such
a word as fail inscribed on our banner.
On assuming the office of Grand Recorder, I found
the liabilities of the Grand Lodge exceeded its assets
by several hundred dollars ; however, provision had been
made for the issuing of Grand Lodge bonds to the
amount of one thousand dollars, which were promptly
taken by the Subordinate Lodges and thus funds were
procured to carry forward the work.
At the Grand Lodge meeting, January, 1874, Grand
Master Workman Walker reported that during the past
year a brother named Austin had died and that the
amount of insurance had been paid, amounting to
$887.50; that notice of three other deaths had been re-
ceived and some of the insurance money had been paid.
The actual amount paid to the beneficiaries of the first
two of these — E. T. Clarkson, Kentucky, and A. Timer-
man, Pennsylvania, could not be determined by the rec-
ords, but it was probably about one thousand dollars in
each case. On the third death, that of John W. Weaver,
a member of Ohio Lodge No. 2, of Cincinnati, the
amount paid was $1,350.00; followed by that of Alfred
Peak of Boon Lodge Xo. 1, Covington, Ky., $1,455.00,
and Peter Grover of Central Lodge No. 19, Harris-
burg, Pa., $2,000.00. The above claims in Ohio and
Kentucky were the first to occur in the Order in either of
these States and that of Peter Grover of Pennsylvania
was the first to receive the full two thousand dollar
The collection of the insurance fund from the lodges,
at this time, was very unsatisfactory from a business
standpoint. No provision had been made for reports by
which the Grand Recorder could ascertain the number
of members in the lodges that were liable for assessments,
neither had he knowledge of the issuance of Benefit
Certificates, pledging the Order to pay two thousand do]
lars on the death of each member, these being issued by
the Subordinate Lodge and no record kept except on
the stub of the Insurance Book. When a death occurred,
such proofs as could be established by correspondence,
was the only source by which to ascertain the facts as to
membership, deaths, etc. Insofar as the laws of the
Order would permit and our limited knowledge of nec-
essary requirements extended, these defects were modi-
fied but as I look back today and note the crude methods
by which the business was then conducted, I marvel that
it was as well performed as it was.
OHIO, KENTUCKY AND INDIANA.
As heretofore noted, in the latter part of the year
1870, a lodge had been organized in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Since that date and up to January, 1873, Slx < other lodges
had been established in the State — five of these were in
the City of Cincinnati and one at Wellsville, a small
town in the eastern part of the State, near the Pennsyl-
vania line, organized by Dr. Bunn.
The introduction of the Order in Cincinnati was not
of such character as tended to commend it to the best
class of citizens. Of the five lodges, three were located
in the section known as "Across the Rhine" and com-
posed of Germans in that locality. While these mem-
bers were, no doubt, in the main, good citizens, yet from
the standpoint of insurance, as time demonstrated, they
were very undesirable, for from the first an exceedingly
high death rate prevailed in these lodges. The two other
lodges were, however, located in a better portion of the
city and numbered among their membership some whose
social standing counteracted somewhat the unfortunate
influence of the other lodges.
That the assertions we have made in regard to these
particular German lodges were true, is proven by the
fact that after the membership of the Order had in-
creased to over two thousand in the State, these three
German lodges with only about one-tenth of the number
of members, had more deaths for a period of five years
than all of the other portions of the Order in the State.
These six lodges were all organizd by and formed a
part of the Incorporated branch, with the exception of
the first one which was instituted by Walker previous
to the separation of the Order.
The Grand Lodge of Ohio was organized August
31, 1872: Representatives from the five lodges in Cin-
cinnati participating therein ; Walker as Acting Supreme
Master Workman officiating as instituting officer; J. A.
Bechtol of Ohio Lodge No. 2 was elected Grand Master
■Workman; Joseph L. Hill of the same lodge, Grand
Recorder, and W. Barton, likewise a member of the
same lodge, Grand Receiver.
During the year 1871, Boon Lodge No. 1 was orga-
nized in Covington, Kentucky. The close connection of
the two cities of Cincinnati and Covington accounts for
the early extension of the knowledge of the Order to the
latter city. The moving factors in the constituting of
this lodge were R. D. Handy, an attorney, and A. J.
Francis, prominent citizens, whose influence was such as
attracted the attention and gathered the adherence of the
better class of citizens into membership of this lodge.
The organization of the first lodge in Kentucky was soon
followed by the institution of others and during the year
1872 four other lodges were organized — one at Newport,
a suburb of Covington; a German lodge in Covington;
one at Lexington and another English lodge in Coving-
ton. These lodges, like those in Ohio, were instituted
by and as a part of the incorporated branch of the Order.
The Grand Lodge of Kentucky was instituted Janu-
ary 7, 1873, by Acting Supreme Master Workman
Walker > representatives from the five lodges above re-
ferred to participating in the organization. R. D. Handy
was elected Grand Master Workman ; W. H. Turner,
Grand Recorder, and John B. Taylor, Grand Receiver.
Five representatives to the formation of the Supreme
Lodge were elected from each of the Grand Lodges of
Kentucky and Ohio.
In the meantime knowledge of the Order had found
its way into Indiana and on September 16, 1872, Wa-
bash Lodge No. 1 was organized at Terre Haute, Indiana.
SUPREME LODGE ORGANIZED.
The requisite three Grand Lodges having been orga-
nized and delegates duly elected, a convention was called
to meet in Cincinnati, Ohio, Feb. 11, 1873, for the pur-
pose of instituting the Supreme Lodge.
The following were the Representatives present :
Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania — W. W. Walker, W.
H. Comstock, J. M. McNair, M. W. Sackett and W. S.
Grand Lodge of Ohio — John I. Becktol, Louis Koes-
ter, S. B. Lowensteine, Joseph Whittlesey and W. Mc-
Grand Lodge of Kentucky — R. D. Handy, George
Pitts, Isaiah King, J. W. H. Searles and J. B. Steves.
Upchurch was not present, having been detained by
sickness. Dr. J. M. Bunn was present and took an active
part in the proceedings, he and A. J. Francis of Kentucky
having been, by dispensation, enrolled as Past Grand
Master Workmen, and admitted to seats in the Supreme
Lodge. There was also present J. O. Rockwell, a Past
Grand Master Workman of Pennsylvania.
W. W. Walker was elected chairman, J. B. Steves,
Secretary, and after the examination and approval of the
credentials of delegates, the following officers were
W. W. Walker, Supreme Master Workman ; John
I. Bechtol, Supreme Foreman; R. D. Handy, Supreme
Overseer; J. B. Steves, Supreme Recorder; Louis Koes-
ter, Supreme Receiver; J. W. H. Searles, Supreme Guide,
and J. M. McNair, Supreme Watchman.
W. H. Comstock was elected to the position of Past
Supreme Master Workman, and M. W. Sackett ap-
pointed to fill the vacancy in the office of Supreme Re-
ceiver, Louis Koester having resigned after election.
By resolution introduced and unanimously adopted.
John Jordan Upchurch was accorded the honor of first
Past Supreme Master Workman, for valuable services
rendered to the Order. The election of Upchurch to the
position of Past Supreme Master Workman and Walker
to that of Supreme Master Workman, was in recogni-
tion of the former as the one to whom the honor of being
the founder was due and the latter as the co-laborer
whose energy and ability had contributed so largely to
the success thus far attained.
After the installation of the officers, the Supreme
Lodge of the Ancient Order of United Workmen was
declared duly and legally constituted as the supreme gov-
erning power of the Order and the court of last resort.
The procedure in thus constituting the Supreme
Lodge had its legal warrant in the Constitution and Laws
governing the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, which had
previously exercised authority in a dual capacity, first as
the governing power in the State, and second, as acting-
Supreme Lodge in extending the Order in other States ;
therefore, at the institution of the Supreme body, these
laws, so far as they applied, became the laws governing
the Supreme Lodge and controlled until amended by that
A committee was appointed on Constitution and
Laws, of which R. D. Handy, the only attorney in the
body, was made chairman, the other members being W.
S. Black, a newspaper man, and Joseph Whittlesey; also
a Committee on Ritual, consisting of J. W. H. Searles,
M. W. Sackett, J. I. Becktol and Dr. Bunn; and a Com-
mittee to design regalia and jewels for the Order, con-
sisting of Rockwell, Bunn, Becktol, Sackett and Francis.
The Committee on Constitution and Laws, in their
report, recommended but few changes in the laws in
force as adopted by the acting Supreme Lodge of Penn-
sylvania. Less than one month had elapsed since the
meeting of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, at which
time a careful revision of the laws had been made, pro-
viding for the organization of the Supreme Lodge, desig-
nating its officers, prescribing its powers, etc., and in
like manner had enacted laws to govern Grand and Sub-
ordinate Lodges, in their affiliation with the Supreme
Lodge, so that sufficient time had not elapsed to test prac-
tically the laws already in force and therefore only a few
changes w r ere recommended and adopted, — the more im-
portant ones are noted as follows :
Objects Amended — Up to the time of the organiza-
tion of the Supreme Lodge no specific reference to the
insurance feature had been included in the "Objects" of
the Order, as set forth in a preliminary statement to
the Constitution and Laws. The changed attitude by
which the insurance feature had to a large extent be-
come the controlling factor in the Order, called for more
pronounced and direct recognition in the general state-
ment of the purpose of its existence. The "Objects",
therefore, was amended by adding "to create and dis-
burse a fund for the relief of its members and their fami-
lies." Note, however, is here* made of the fact that
decided objection was apparent upon the part of the dele-
gates that represented the newer membership, to the
restrictions as to class eligibility, the discountenancing of
strikes, reference to labor questions and monopolies, as
set forth in the "Objects" heretofore promulgated, but
these delegates were in the minority and such references
could not, therefore, be eliminated at that time but re-
mained over to a subsequent meeting of the body.
New Ritual and Secret Work — The Upchurch ritual,
as before noted, had been discarded at the institution of
the Incorporated Grand Lodge and a new one adopted
which had not proved satisfactory. The Committee on
Ritual, therefore, reported an entire new ritual for
adoption by the Supreme Lodge. Dr. Bunn, who was a
member of this committee, was its main compiler. Evi-
dently there was no one present in the body except Dr.
Bunn who was or ever had been affiliated with the
Masonic fraternity, otherwise the plagiarism contained
therein would have been recognized and the proposed
ritual rejected. Personally I was not made aware of
this perfidy until a short time after the ritual was pro-
mulgated when I was acting as Guide in the initiation
of a German professor connected with the Pittsburgh
University. As the rather incompetent Master Workman
of the lodge was conferring the degrees, and reading the
charges, I noticed an impatient and disgusted look on the
face of tne professor and wondered what was the matter,
for even the imperfect rendering would not account for
his nervous disquietude and evident disapproval. When
we had retired to the ante-room, he pulled off the apron
with which he had been invested, threw it on the floor
and exclaimed, "What kind of an institution is this !
thieves ! thieves ! ! Give me my hat ; I want nothing to do
with people who appropriate what does not belong to
them. Why, I can repeat that lecture a hundred times
better than that man could read it." I was amazed and
humiliated at the discovery, and confessing my ignor-
ance and explaining the situation as best I could, finally
succeeded in mollifying the irate professor who after-
ward became an enthusiastic member. It is needless to
say that at the next meeting of the Supreme Lodge a new
ritual was adopted.
The secret work was but little changed from that
previously employed and extended only to the guarding
of the portals to the lodge-room ; recognition of mem-
bers one to another ; signs of warning in case of impend-
ing imposition and of recognition in time of great periL
Regalia and Emblems — A slight outline of the regalia
first adopted has already been given and no radical
change was made by the Supreme Lodge, except to adopt
emblems distinctive of the various officers and more fully
describing form, etc., as follows :
Supreme Lodge Regalia — To be made of purple silk velvet,
trimmed with gold lace, and bordered with two-inch gold bul-
lion fringe, with a five-pointed star at the uniting points, and
gold tassel at the outer points; the jewel of office to be worn
on the left side. of the collar. The jewels to be worked in gold
thread as follows.
For S. M. W., Square and Compass enclosing the letter W.
S. G. F., Plumb-bob and level.
S. O., Axe and Trowel.
S. Recorder, Cross Pens.
S. Receiver, Cross Keys.
S. G., Cross Wands.
S. W., Cross Swords.
P. S. M. W., Open Bible.
All the above to be worked over the rising sun in the back-
Members' Regalia — A purple ribbon badge worn on the left
breast, with the privilege of wearing the regulation regalia
without the jewels.
Grand Lodge Regalia — Blue silk velvet collars, trimming
and jewels same as Supreme Lodge regalia, except the rising
sun in the back-ground. Members' regalia same as officers,
without the jewels.
Regalia of Grand Lodge Deputies — Yellow wreath, inclosing
initials of office, on left side of collar.
Subordinate Lodge Regalia — Officers — Scarlet collar, trim-
med with white lace. Members — White apron, bound with red
half-inch wide, containing name and number of Lodge, square
and compass inclosing the letter W. The jewels of Subordinate
Lodge officers, same as Grand officers, only of white thread or
Use of Liquor Excluded — The following resolution
as to the use of intoxicating liquors was adopted :
"Resolved : That no Supreme, Grand or Subordi-
nate Lodge of this Order shall at the institution of a
lodge or any public entertainment or banquet, set upon
the table or cause to be used, any intoxicating liquors."
A rather amusing incident occurred in connection
with the consideration of this resolution, in conjunction
with the adoption of a ritual which may not be out of
place in relating here. Brother Lowenstine, who was of
Jewish-German extraction and tenacious of any infringe-
ment of his religious beliefs, was much exercised at the
proposal to use a cross in the initiatory services ; like-
wise he felt it a serious restraint to be deprived of the
exhiliarating influence of his accustomed beverage as
contemplated in the pending resolution. During the re-
cess of the lodge and while walking down the street, I
heard some one calling my name in an excited manner,
and, turning, beheld Brother Lowenstine coming with
all the speed that his short legs and fat, chubby body
would allow. On reaching me and as soon as his ex-
hausted breath could be brought into requisition, he said
in his broken English, "Bruder Sackett, I shust going to
vote for the liquor resolution. I puts it under de tables,
not on de tables, but you shust take Shesus Christ out of
Degree of Honor — This society had its inception at
this first meeting of the Supreme Lodge and Dr. James
M. Bunn was the author of the ritual and secret work
connected therewith. It was to be an auxiliary to the
A. O. U. W. and intended to promote union, sympathy
and friendship among the wives, widows, daughters,
mothers, sisters, sons and brothers of members of the
Order. The ritual provided for the organization of
lodges with officers as follows : "Gentlemen — Degree
Master Workman, Patriarch, Usher and Assistant
Usher; Ladies — Sister of Honor, Sister of Ceremonies.
Sister Secretary, Sister Treasurer. Sister Usher. First
and Second Advisor to Degree Master Workman. First
and Second Maids of Honor to Sister of Honor."
Subordinate Lodges of the A. O. U. W. were also per-
mitted in special session to confer this degree or it
might be conferred in. private on those that were eligible,
by an officer duly qualified.
An emblem to be worn by the lady members was
adopted, described as "a golden heart, bearing upon one
side the inscription ' \Y. W. T. O. E. ? and upon the other
side 'Talitha Cumi' ". Only such secret work was
adopted as would serve as a means of recognition between
members of the A. O. U. W. and those of the Degree,
and such as could be employed in warning of impend-
ing imposition or danger and the rendering of assistance
in time of peril.
An incident connected with the adoption of the first
secret work of the Degrees and which does not appear
in the record, may be of interest to members of that
society. Forty years ago it was a quite common saying
"that if you contemplated a journey over the Pan Handle
railroad, it would be well to supply yourself with a coffin
before starting." Dr. Bunn and myself, traveling to-
gether over this road to Cincinnati to assist in the orga-
nization of the Supreme Lodge, came very near requir-
ing an article of this kind to be called into requisition.
Owing to the disabling of the sleeper, we were occupy-
ing a day coach. As the train rounded a curve it parted
company with the engine and precipitated itself down a
forty-foot embankment. Fortunately, the cars did not
turn over but slid on the side to a resting place at the
bottom of the incline. No one was seriously injured
but all were terribly scared. An old gentleman and his
wife occupied a seat near me and as the car went over
she fell to the floor and was partially concealed under the
cushions. In the meantime, the old gentleman had re-
gained an upright position and was standing on the cush-
ions with the old lady underneath. In the extremity of
his agony at the loss of his dear companion, he was
waving his arms and exclaiming, "Oh, where is Betsy!
Oh, where is Betsey ! !" Some one near, seeing the con-
dition, pulled the old gentleman off the cushions, say-
ing, "You old fool, don't you see you are standing on
her?" When Betsey w r as extricated and in the arms of
her spouse, he could scarcely realize that it was she and
kept saying over and over, "Oh! Betsey, is this you?
Oh! Betsey, is this you?"
When the Supreme Lodge was at a loss to find a
proper "Distress Sign and Word" for the Degree of
Honor, the girations and exclamations of the old gentle-
man seemed fitted for the purpose desired, inasmuch as
it had been practically applied and found to be effec-
tive. It is scarcely necessary to mention that the remark
of the one who rescued the old lady and the affectionate
exhibition that took place was not considered necessary
to be incorporated as a part of the sign.
Xo insurance was attached to this auxiliary at its in-
ception and it was not until 1882 that permission was
given by the Supreme Lodge to Grand Lodge Separate
Beneficiary Jurisdictions to attach a beneficiary feature
to the Degree of Honor and to enact laws for its gov-
The first four or five lodges of the Degree were
located in Pittsburgh and Allegheny, Penna., and were
organized during the years 1873 an d ^74-
The Grand Lodge of Kansas, organized May 20,
1890, was the first Grand Lodge of the Degree that was
instituted and was also the first to put in force a bene-
The Degree of Honor followed closely the progress
of the A. O. U. W. in the different States and in 1896
a Superior Lodge was formed to which all Grand Lodges
of the Degree rendered adherence as the controlling
power of the society, subject only to certain limitations
imposed by the Supreme Lodge, A. O. U. W., as to
membership, reviewal and endorsement of laws passed,
etc. Xo connection involving financial matters, how-
ever, existed between the two bodies and in 1910 this sup-
ervising control was withdrawn and the two societies
became separate and distinct.
Separate Beneficiary Jurisdictions — The most radical
legislation enacted at this first meeting of the Supreme
Lodge was the adoption of a resolution and incorporating
its provisions in the laws of the Order, creating Sepa-
rate Beneficiary Jurisdictions. This resolution was in-
troduced by W: S. Black of Pennsylvania, but its author
was myself, and reads as follows :
Resolved, That, when a State Grand Lodge shall have
under her jurisdiction two thousand members of the Master
Workman's Degree in good standing, said Grand Lodge may
petition the Supreme Lodge to be set apart as an independent
jurisdiction, so far as the management of the insurance fund
is concerned; provided, that the combined membership still
remaining under the jurisdiction of the Supreme Lodge shall
not be less than two thousand members of the Master Work-
man's Degree in good standing; and provided further, that
the Grand Recorder of such State shall notify the Supreme
Recorder that a membership of two thousand exists in said
State; whereupon the Supreme Master Workman shall make
proclamation of the fact in due form.
The word "independent" as used in the above resolu-
tion was unfortunate in conveying the idea intended and
was later changed to the word "separate" when incor-
porated in the later Constitutional provisions. In order
to explain fully the intention sought to be attained in
establishing this policy in the A. O. U. W. and which has
marked it as distinctive from all other societies of like
character, no better words can be employed than those
contained in the first, second and third digests issued by
the Supreme Lodge from which we quote as follows :
The use of the term "Separate Jurisdiction" may convey an
erroneous impression if the article of the Constitution in which
it is used is not somewhat carefully considered. The Order is
a unit — no part of it is really separate from any other part.
The same principles and general laws, rules and regulations
are in force throughout the entire Order. The only separation
which takes place is in the beneficiary fund, which in a Grand
Lodge, "set apart as a Separate Beneficiary Jurisdiction," is
collected and disbursed in such jurisdiction, and is applied only
to the death losses occurring therein; but this collection and
disbursement is subject to, and is to be made "in accordance
with the general laws, rules and regulations of the Supreme
Lodge." Dig., 1st ed., par. 175.
The law creating Separate Beneficiary Jurisdictions con-
ferred no power or authority on Grand Lodges as such, other
than that expressed by the Constitution, to-wit: "with power
to collect and disburse within itself the beneficiary fund, sub-
ject to and in accordance with the general laws, rules and regu-
lations of the Supreme Lodge." The vested rights of Grand
Lodges as Separate Beneficiary Jurisdictions extend no further
than the collection and disbursement of the beneficiary fund,
under the general laws and regulations as prescribed by the
Supreme Lodge. It in no manner contravenes or restricts
the authority, or renders questionable the power of the Su-
preme Lodge, to levy and collect from Separate Beneficiary
Jurisdictions assessments for revenue, or to create a relief
revenue, or other fund as may be deemed proper and necessary
to preserve the honor, dignity, and welfare of the Order, and
to establish laws and regulations relative thereto, making the
requirements thereof alike binding and obligatory on all parts
of the Order. Nor does it in any manner change or impair the
legitimate control of the Supreme Lodge over Grand Lodges, or
the subordination of Grand Lodges to the Supreme Lodge, in
accordance with the provisions of their charters and the gen-
eral laws of the Order. Dig., 2d ed., pp. 61, 62.
It will be seen that the law does not contemplate independ-
ent jurisdictions, but to, avoid the risk attending the accumu-
lation of so large a sum of money as would result if all assess-
ments were paid to the same officer, and in order that the
more healthful States and communities may, as far as possi-
ble, enjoy this advantage, and those living in less favorable
localities may bear their own burdens as far as practicable,
Separate Beneficiary Jurisdictions are provided for; that is,
jurisdictions "set apart from a number for a particular ser-
vice." This arrangement may be likened to the government
of the United States. The different State governments are
separate and distinct, for certain purposes, and possess certain
powers, but to the general government is reserved the power,
and it exercises the right to prescribe laws for the preserva-
tion of the national existence, and for the protection of the
rights of all the people and of every individual citizen. The
provisions contained in the law must be regarded as wise and
salutary. When properly understood, they give to our Order
largely the advantage over similar institutions; for while the
Supreme Lodge reserves the right to do that which may be
necessary to protect and defend the whole Order, and every
individual member, from casualties which may occur involv-
ing the very existence of the Order in some locality, and de-
stroying the benefit to which the individual is entitled, there
are preserved all the advantages which ought to result to
particular localities from separate action, so that under ordi-
nary circumstances, each jurisdiction is secured in the advan-
tage accruing from such separation. S. L. 1880, p. 172.
$ * * * $ $ $
While the concessions of legislative powers made by the
Supreme Lodge to Grand Lodges forming separate jurisdic-
tions have been numerous and important, yet,j on the other
hand, the emergency caused in 1878, by a severe epidemic, in
the beneficary jurisdictions of the Supreme Lodge and Tennes-
see, and which involved the honor, dignity, and welfare of the
Order in the eyes of the world, brought into operation another
principle of the fundamental law which tends to unification of
the Order far more strongly than the changes of the law rela-
tive to separate jurisdictions have tended to its disintegration.
Following the distinction laid down in the extracts above
quoted, the Supreme Lodge has, in the main, recognized the
field of its own action to be properly in the government and
regulation of the Order as an Order, leaving to Grand Lodges
the control of those details which affect no member of the
Order beyond its own limits, and which are necessary to pre-
serve the individual rights of its membership. The most im-
portant step toward making the Order a unit upon its funda-
mental principles (while preserving the advantages secured
by Separate Beneficiary Jurisdictions) was the adoption of a
"relief law" by which the relief pledges of the Order to pay
its beneficiary sum of $2,000. were guaranteed and assured.
This relief law has already gained the general approval of the
Grand Lodges, and when guided by experience, the Supreme
Lodge shall have improved its provisions so that its benefits
shall be "bestowed with certainty, regularity and promptness,"
and also in accordance with equitable principles, as between
the various jurisdictions, then the unity and perpetuity of the
A. O. U. W. as an Order will be secured, while so far as is con-
sistent with this result, the various Grand Lodges within the
brotherhood will have the largest possible liberty of action.
Dig., 2d ed., p. 233.
Later on and in another connection will be traced
some of the effects of this feature of Separate Beneficiary
Jurisdictions in the A. O. U. W. and its bearing on the
development of fraternal protection in this country.
Incorporation of the Supreme Lodge — On Feb. 15th,
the last day of the meeting of the Supreme Lodge, the
session was moved to Covington, Ky., for the purpose of
accepting articles of incorporation under a charter pro-
cured by the Grand Lodge of Kentucky from the Legis-
lature of that State by the terms of which the Supreme
Lodge by accepting the act, became incorporated there-
The act by the General Assembly of Pennsylvania,
heretofore given, constituted the Grand Lodge of the An-
cient Order of United Workmen of Pennsylvania the
supreme power of the Order, no authority being given
therein by which another body could be organized which
it could legally recognize as the controlling power of the
Order. It therefore became necessary, in order to give
the Supreme Lodge a legal status, that a new act be pro-
cured which would recognize the Supreme Lodge as the
controlling legislative and executive power of the society.
This act is considered of sufficient import to be given
herein as follows :
An Act to incorporate the Grand Lodge of the A. O. U. W. of
Kentucky, and the Supreme Lodge.
Whereas, Certain persons, citizens of Kentucky, are desirous
of forming a corporation to promote and advance scientific and
mechanical pursuits in said State and elsewhere, therefore be
it enacted by the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of
Section 1. That R. D. Handy, J. W. H. Searles, A. J.
Francis, C. Shryock, George Pitts, W. H. Turner, J. B. Taylor,
Frank McDonald, J. W. Crutcher, and their successors, be and
they are hereby created a body politic and corporate by the
name, style, and title of "The Grand Lodge of the Ancient
Order of United Workmen of Kentucky," and by such name and
title shall have perpetual succession, and be capable in law of
suing and being sued, pleading and being impleaded, and of
purchasing, holding, granting, and receiving, in its corporate
name property — real, personal, and mixed — and of instituting
such Subordinate Lodges as it may see fit, under such rules,
by-laws, and regulations as the corporation may establish, not
in conflict with the constitution and laws of the Common-
wealth, or of the United States.
Sec. 2. The object of the corporation shall be to improve
the moral, mental, and social condition of the members of
the Lodges under its jurisdiction, and to prevent strikes among
all classes, by exhausting all honorable means in its power for
such an end.
Sec. 3. The said corporation shall have a common seal for
the making and delivering of all legal acts and proceedings,
and the same to break or alter at pleasure.
Section 4. It shall be lawful for the corporation to create,
hold, manage, and disburse a beneficiary fund for the relief of
the members and their families, of the Lodges established by
this corporation, or of sister Lodges established by other
Grand Lodges, working under and subordinate to the Supreme
Lodge, under such regulations as may be adopted by the cor-
poration or by the Supreme Lodge.
Sec. 5. Such beneficiary fund as the corporation may deem
suitable and proper may be set apart and provided to be paid
over to the families of deceased members, or the heirs of such
deceased members, or to such persons as such deceased mem-
bers may whilst living direct; the collecting, management,
and disbursement of the same, as well as the person or per-
sons to whom the same shall be paid, on the death of a de-
ceased member, shall be controlled and regulated by the rules
and by-laws of the corporation; and any such fund so provided
and set apart, shall be exempt from execution, and shall under
no circumstances be liable to be seized, taken, or appropriated
by any legal or equitable process to pay any debt of such de-
Sec. 6. The said corporation may make and constitute for
the same such officers as it may deem necessary and proper,
whose term of office shall expire on the second Tuesday in
January of each and every year, or when their successors are
elected, qualified, and installed in office.
Sec. 7. A Supreme Lodge may be established by this Grand
Lodge in conjunction with other Grand Lodges; and when so
established, the officers thereof and their successors in per-
petuity shall become a body politic and corporate, under the
name and' style of 'The Supreme Lodge of the Ancient Order
of United Workmen of the United States," and on accepting
this charter shall be entitled to all the rights, privileges, and
immunities herein contained, with power to establish other
Grand Lodges within the United States with like powers, privi-
leges, and immunities, but subordinate to said Supreme Lodge.
Sec. 8. The said Grand Lodge, or any of its subordinates,
may, for enabling them to build any building in which they
shall have a hall for the use of their Lodge, issue their bonds,
not to exceed five thousand ($5,000) dollars, and bearing in-
terest not to exceed eight per cent per annum; they may also
issue their bonds, not to exceed two thousand ($2,000), dollars
for the purpose of temporarily relieving them in raising money
to pay the insurance on their deceased members; but at no
time shall any Lodge then incur an indebtedness to exceed
seven hundred ($700) dollars.
Sec. 9. This act shall take effect from and after its
James B. McCreary,
Speaker of the House of Representatives.
G. A. C. Holt,
Pro tern. Speaker of the Senate.
Approved, 11th February, 1873.
P. H. Leslie, Governor.
By proper resolution the above act was accepted by
the Supreme Lodge and it became a corporation there-
It is perhaps well to note here .that soon after the
organization of the Supreme Lodge an endeavor was
made to have the Act of Pennsylvania modified so that
the Grand Lodge might accept a charter from the Su-
preme Lodge and thereby legally come under its control
and be subservient to its authority. This however failed,
and in 1886 the Grand Lodge surrendered its State char-
ter or act of incorporation and reorganized as a volun-
tary association under the title of the Grand Lodge of
the Jurisdiction of Pennsylvania, Ancient Order of
United Workmen, and accepted a charter from the Su-
Insurance — Xo change of sufficient moment to be
noted herein was made in the laws as enacted by the
Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania governing insurance mat-
ters. Sufficient time had not elapsed since the revision
of the laws to test their efficiency or demonstrate what
further requirements were needful to systematically con-
duct this feature of the Order's efforts, and therefore
they were adopted with but few changes, by the Su-
Bonds, Etc. — The Supreme Lodge at its organiza-
tion was without resources even to pay the expenses of
the delegates and funds were necessary to be provided
by which its work could be carried forward until the
time when the per capita tax, provided in the law, became
available. Bonds were therefore authorized to be issued
to the amount of two thousand dollars, to be taken by
Subordinate Lodges and individual members. By my
personal solicitation nearly all of these bonds were dis-
posed of to the lodges and members in Pittsburgh and
Allegheny, and thus funds were at once available to
carry on the work.
The salary of the Supreme Recorder was fixed at
S500.00 for the coming year, all other officers serving
without pay except the Supreme Master Workman who
was allowed traveling and other expenses when engaged
in the work.
The Supreme Lodge adjourned after four days' ses-
sion to meet in Pittsburgh, Pa., March, 1S74.
PROGRESS IN 1873.
Pennsylvania still occupied the position of the domin-
ating factor in the Order, notwithstanding the Supreme
Lodge had been organized and nominally assumed con-
trol. This supremacy naturally followed for the reason
that not only the large portion of the membership was
located therein but also 'because such practical experience
as had been acquired was limited to those who had there-
tofore been in control.
The conflict of legal authority, as set forth in the two
acts of incorporation, complicated somewhat the conduct
of insurance transactions between the two bodies. While
Pennsylvania's membership was true and loyal to the Su-
preme Lodge and desirous of rendering full allegiance
thereto, they were not willing at that time, to surrender
their status as a corporate entity of the State. Steps
were taken to have the act amended so that complete
recognition might be had, but the effort was not success-
ful as heretofore noted ; however Pennsylvania complied
with the laws of the Supreme Lodge and made payments
of insurance monies through the executive officers there-
of until such time as the Jurisdiction was set apart as a
Separate Jurisdiction, July 1, 1874.
Upchurch, in March, 1873, was appointed master
mechanic of the St. Louis, Salem and Little Rock Rail-
road and placed in charge of the shops at Steelville, Mo.,
to which place he removed at about this date and where
he remained until 1875. While maintaining a cordial
interest in the progress of the Order, he was not in posi-
tion to take active part in its work.
Dr. Bunn, who had been so efficient in the work in
Pennsylvania, felt he had been unjustly used when the
Grand Lodge refused to re-engage him as organizing
deputy for the coming year, arid was further incensed in
the failure to be appointed Supreme Organizer by
Walker after he became Supreme Master Workman. His
active efforts, therefore, ceased in the A. O. U. W. from
this time forward, but as will be noted hereafter, he did
not desert the field of fraternal protection and soon after
became the father of another society — the second society
of this kind to be organized in this country.
Walker, as Supreme Master Workman, became the
active factor in extending the Order, not only in the
States where a foothold had already been attained, but
to other localities where he planted the Order either
personally or by means of deputies appointed by him.
In the Supreme Master Workman's report to the Su-
preme Lodge in 1874, a very full and detailed account is
given of his labors in propagating the Order in new terri-
tory, instructing the lodges in the new ritualistic work,
etc., during the year 1873. The Order was fortunate in
having a Supreme Master Workman who was an em-
ployee of a railroad company and was able to travel at
minimum expense, an item of no small account at this
particular time in its history and which accounted to a
considerable extent for the extended area of territory
to which knowledge of the Order was carried during
Immediately after the meeting of the Supreme Lodge
the new ritual was printed arid the Supreme Master
Workman visited nearly every Subordinate Lodge in
existence and instructed them in the work. While mak-
ing these visitations, he reports having conferred the
Degree of Honor on two hundred and eighty Master
Workmen but does not report on how many female mem-
bers the degree was conferred, but as special sessions of
the lodges were in many instances called for the purpose
of conferring this degree upon the ladies of the members,
the number must have been quite numerous.
It must be borne in mind that at this time, and not
until late in the year 1873, was there in existence any-
where a society of like character of the A. O. U. W. —
such as are now recognized as Fraternal Beneficiary
Organizations. Peculiar interest, therefore, attaches to
the progress made by the A. O. U. W. during such time
as it was the sole occupant of this field of endeavor.
The year 1873 w r as notable as the most prosperous the
Order had as yet attained and is outlined in the Supreme
Master Workman's report from which we quote :
May 20th I started for Indiana accompanied by Supreme
Recorder J. B. Steves. On 21st arrived in Terre Haute and
conferred degrees and instructed in the new work Terre
Haute Lodge No. 2. On the 22nd conferred degrees and in-
structed Wabash Lodge No. 1. On the 23d conferred degrees
of Honor in afternoon at general meeting and in the evening
instituted Prairie City Lodge No. 3. On the 24th returned to
Covington, Ky. *****
On the 15th of June I visited Indianapolis and spent two
days, but did not meet with success at that time, although
I left some seed, which afterward yielded fruit. From there
I went to Franklin, but met with no success. On the 20th,
I went to Louisville and assisted Bro. Handy in instituting
Louisville Lodge No. 6, of Kentucky. On the 2nd of July I
went to Meadville, and from there to Erie and met with the
Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania. On the 14th, I went to Cin-
cinnati to attend the session of the Grand Lodge of Ohio,
but their books were not so they could be obtained and their
session was adjourned to meet the next week. On the 20th,
I went to Indianapolis where I remained five days. On the
25th, instituted Union Lodge, No. 6, of Indiana. On the 28th,
I went to New Albany, and with the assistance of Bro. Wilson,
organized and instituted Morning Star Lodge, No. 7, of Indi-
ana, on the 30th. On the 31st, we went to Jeffersonville and
laid the foundation of a Lodge there, which was subse-
quently instituted by Bro. Wilson. On the 2nd of August I
returned to Covington. Bro. D. C. Southard instituted Bra-
zille Lodge, No. 5, of Indiana on the 4th. On the 4th, I
started to Terre Haute, notice having been given that the
Grand Lodge of that State would be instituted on the 5th. I
arrived on the morning of the 5th. A full delegation of the
Representatives were present, and the Grand Lodge of In-
diana instituted. I remained two days in Terre Haute and
visited the Lodges, which I found in a prosperous condition.
On the 7th, I started for Washington, Iowa, to visit and in-
struct Hawk Eye Lodge, No. 1, of Iowa.
On the 9th, I arrived in Washington and visited Lodge No.
1 that evening at a special session. I found considerable dis-
satisfaction among the members, and that many of its mem-
bers had dropped off. From its first organization it had been
neglected, and had much reason for complaint. The little band
of them who did remain deserve much credit for their per-
severance and faith, alone as they were, far distant from
headquarters, not a Lodge within hundreds of miles of them,
and yet since the organization of the S. L. they were gener-
ally the first to respond to every assessment call. I con-
ferred the degrees and instructed them in the new work with
which they were well pleased. We held meetings almost every
evening, and with each meeting their confidence in the Order
increased. There were thousands of questions to be asked and
answered; they were members of an organization of which
they knew very little, and the more they learned the better
they liked it, as everyone else does. They were well satisfied
with the condition in which I reported the Order. Each night
new faces, to me, were added to their numbers; the old mem-
bers were coming forward again to help in the good work.
There were some men who had got into the Order and by
their intemperate habits had injured the reputation of the
Order among business men of the city, and had prevented
them from taking any interest in it. I refused to confer the
new work upon them, and instructed the Lodge to appoint a
committee to wait upon them and inform them of my rea-
son for so doing, and that if they would prove by their actions
that they intended to live up to the principles of the Order,
they would in reasonable time be reinstated. I remained in
Washington nearly three weeks, during which time we had
fifteen meetings, and the Lodge had fully roused up to work,
with confidence completely restored, and the citizens favor-
ably impressed with the Order, and a good prospect for the
Lodge in the future. During my stay in Washington I had
been corresponding with different parties in the State. On
the 25th, I went to Davenport, where I was assisted by Bro.
Noble in organizing and instituting, on the 28th, Pioneer
Lodge, No. 2, of Iowa. I visited Rock Island and Moline, but
without success. I, with some of the members of No. 2, com-
menced working for another Lodge in Davenport, and on the
5th of September held a preliminary meeting. On the 11th,
I instituted State Lodge, No. 3, of Iowa, in that city, with
about forty charter members. I received a letter from Bro.
Montgomery, at Washington, that there were several parties
who desired to have a Lodge in Richmond, and that if I
would come up there, probably a Lodge could be instituted.
On the 13th, I went to Washington to meet Bro. Montgomery,
l)ut found that the parties in Richmond were not yet ready
to go into the Order — financial matters being unfavorable. I
returned to Davenport, and on the 16th, went to Burlington
and got some good men interested in the Order there. I
remained there four days and got nine names, then left the
application with them, expecting soon to have enough to
organize there. On the 21st, I returned to Davenport, and
several times visited Rock Island and Moline. I also went to
Clinton, having received letters of encouragement from parties
there. I remained there two days and found several who
were anxious of joining the Order, but a scarcity of money
prevented my success, the R. R. Co. not having paid off for
over two months, it being the principal source of revenue
for the city. I again returned to Davenport and sent the
constitution and letters to different parts of the State. The
financial trouble which it was hoped would only continue a
short time, seemed to be getting worse, and people were
afraid to invest in any new thing. There were seventeen
named on an application for charter in Sigourney, which just
as soon as things looked a little brighter were ready to be
organized, but each day seemed to bring more discouraging
news from the Eastern cities, and there seemed to be little
prospect of doing anything outside of the places where the
Order was already organized. In Davenport the Order was
progressing finely and the members were taking deep inter-
est in its workings, and each week added new members to
the lodges. I worked among the Germans in the city for a
Lodge, and having been in correspondence with some parties
in Iowa City ever since I came into the State, I went to that
place and talked the matter of a Lodge up with them. I met
with considerable encouragement and visited them several
times. Owing to the success of the other Lodges in Davenport
I succeeded in organizing a German lodge in the city, and
Germania Lodge, No. 5, of Iowa, was instituted on the 17th
of October. I again went to Iowa City, and on the 20th of
October instituted Athens Lodge, No. 4, of Iowa, in that city.
I remained in Davenport visiting each of the lodges, and
instructing them; also corresponding with different places in
regard to our lodges. Times, however, got so dull that I
gave up all hopes of organizing any more subordinate lodges,
although in different places there were names enough on the
applications to institute with, yet they could not raise the
money. On the 27th of November I organized the Grand
Lodge of Iowa, in Davenport. I then went to Illinois and
worked for sometime, but on account of the dullness of the
times it was impossible to do anything. On January 1st I
visited the brethren in Terre Haute, and although the ma-
jority of our members had suffered unusually from the effect
of the panic and other causes, yet their interest in the Order
is unabated. On the 2nd, I arrived in Covington, where I
remained some days and visited several lodges in that city
and Cincinanti, and found the Order in a prosperous condi-
tion and the lodges working in harmony. I then went to
Pennsylvania, and on the 11th met with the Grand Lodge of
that State. This session was a very important one and many
amendments to the laws were adopted, which will be of benefit
to the Order. Our Order has prospered in the Keystone State
and many new members from lodges that have been orga-
nized during the term, were present. On the 26th, I went to
Buffalo, and on the 27th, instituted the Grand Lodge of New
York. Five lodges were represented. The representatives
from International Lodge, No. 6, were in the city but did not
find the hall. I asked the members of Queen City Lodge, No.
5, to advertise the place of meeting, which they failed to do
(after promising to do so) and thereby deprived Lodge No.
6 of being represented. I cannot help but state that their
conduct at the institution of the Grand Lodge was neither
courteous nor brotherly. Owing to the panic some of the
Lodges are in a low financial condition, and Nos. 5, 6 and 7
are indebted on institution of the Grand Lodge, thirty dol-
lars each, sixty dollars of which is due to the Supreme Lodge,
and thirty dollars to the Grand Lodge of the State. On the
30th, I instituted Brocton Lodge, No. 8, of New York, in
Brocton. Thirty-first visited Washington Lodge in Corry, Pa.,
where I met with quite a number of the brethren. Their lodge
is in a good condition, and the members are earnestly work-
ing for the advancement of the Order; for the preceding
month they had added many new members and applications
were received at almost every meeting. February 4th, I
went to Cincinnati and visited several of the lodges, and also
the G. M. W. of the State. Bro. Curry has taken the position
of G. M. W. in the right spirit, and will, in his jurisdiction,
see that the laws and regulations are enforced, and also that
the membership increases. There have been several lodges
instituted in the State since his installation. On the 18th of
February I went to Columbus, and on the 2nd of March I
organized Columbus Lodge, No. 19, of Ohio, in that city. On
the 4th I returned to Covington to prepare for the session
of this body.
Since the session of the Supreme Lodge in 1873, there have
been instituted twenty-seven subordinate lodges in Pennsyl-
vania, ten in Ohio, four in Kentucky, nine subordinate and
one Grand Lodge in Indiana, five subordiate and one Grand
Lodge in Iowa, seven subordinate and one Grand Lodge in
New York, two subordinate lodges in West Virginia, and the
membership has increased to over two thousand members.
Reference has heretofore been made to the organiza-
tion of the first lodge in New York State at Jamestown,
wherein the first death in the Order occurred. This
lodge, however, had but short existence and became de-
funct before the institution of the Supreme Lodge.
To Past Supreme Master Workman Comstock, of
Pennsylvania, is due the credit of the permanent intro-
duction of the Order in this State. He organized Quincy
Lodge No. 2 at Ripley, on the nth day of June, 1873;
Chautauqua No. 3 at Westfield, on the 9th of August,
1873; Landmark No. 4, Black Rock, Erie County (now
Buffalo) on the 4th day of September, 1873 ; Queen
City No. 5, Buffalo and International Lodge No. 6, Ni-
agara Falls, in October, 1873.
The Grand Lodge, as previously noted, was organized
January 27, 1874, by Supreme Master Workman Walker.
Thus from the foregoing it will be noted that at the
end of the year 1873 the Order had branched out from
the State of its birth and had established permanent
lodgement in the States of Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana,
Iowa, New York and West Virginia, and that the increase
in membership had been about two thousand. During
the year thirty-two deaths had occurred and two thousand
dollars was paid on each with the exception of the first
one in the year, the beneficiaries of which received $1,455.
Twenty assessments of one dollar each were required to
meet the liability on claims for the year; the mortuary
rate being 12.65 to each one thousand members.
PROGRESS IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE
Not until after the organization of the Supreme
Lodge in 1873 had much attention been directed to im-
proving the operations of the Insurance Fund of the
Order. The law already quoted, passed by the Grand
Lodge of Pennsylvania in 1871, with some amendments
made at the Grand Lodge meeting of 1873, and slight
modifications made by the Supreme Lodge, constituted
the laws governing this fund.
No provisions had been made by which the Supreme
Recorder or the Grand Recorders were advised as to the
correctness of the collections of the Insurance Fund by
the Subordinate Lodges, nor was there any record of the
individual membership in their office by which such col-
lections could be checked and the accuracy of the amount
paid be determined.
Each Subordinate Lodge, at its organization, was
supplied with a "Policy Book," as heretofore described,
pledging the Order to pay two thousand dollars on the
death of a member, and these certificates were issued
by the lodge without any record being had in the Su-
preme or Grand Lodge books.
No advancement had been made in the matter of
medical examination of applicants, the blank form al-
ready mentioned, containing a certification by the physi-
cian that the applicant was in "sound bodily health"
being the only requirement as to physical eligibility. The
numerous deaths among members lately admitted, espec-
ially in the lodges in Ohio, called for more adequate pro-
tection in this direction.
No authorized form of proof of death had been pro-
vided, and only in rare instances was there a record in
the Subordinate Lodge directing to whom the Insurance
Fund should be paid.
These with many other minor details were the prob-
lems to be worked out if the society was to be pro-
tected from imposition and practical business operations
The executive officers of the Supreme Lodge, other
than Walker and myself, had had no experience in mat-
ters of this kind. J. B. Steves, Supreme Recorder, was
a young physician, more deeply interested in building up
a new practice than in devotion to the interests of the
Order. Supreme Foreman R. D. Hardy was a prominent
attorney engrossed in an extended practice and had but
little time to give to the affairs of the Order. The result,
therefore, was that on Walker, as Supreme Master
Workman, devolved the duty of extending and building
up the Order, while on myself, as Supreme Receiver and
as Grand Recorder of Pennsylvania, largely depended
such improvements in practical operations as experience
had thus far demonstrated were needful.
The great need of reform in several directions and
especially in the matter of conducting the insurance de-
partment may be more fully understood by the follow-
ing extracts from my report to the Grand Lodge, at its
annual session in January, 1874:
One of the important needs of our organization, in my
opinion, and one that should claim our most earnest atten-
tion and action this session, is the revision of our Constitu-
tion and laws.
Our insurance feature especially should be thoroughly
revised. The insurance law, as it now exists, is not sufficient-
ly systematized nor do I think it can be made so under the
present mode of collection and disbursement. While those
in charge of the fund, and whose duty it is to see that it
is properly paid, have as yet been able to correctly adjust
the losses that have occured, yet it has caused a large amount
of unnecessary labor and expense, and not been done in a
manner to properly relieve the Grand Lodge from its respon-
The necessity of each Lodge issuing to each of its mem-
bers a policy of insurance, giving directions as to whom
the money should be paid in case of death, was fully appre-
ciated by this body at its two last sessions, and the neces-
sity of such policy urged upon the representatives. Yet
this important matter, in a majority of the Lodges, remains
a dead letter, and a majority of the losses settled in the
last year have been paid by direction of the courts under the
laws of the State.
I am fully persuaded that the adjustment of losses and
the issuing of policies by the subordinate Lodge is not law-
fully binding under our charter, and were it so, it would
yet be unwise to continue their issue by the subordinate
Lodge. The old adage, that "Too many cooks spoil the
broth," is particularly applicable to us in this respect. The
irregularity of making out, keeping proper record, etc., of
the different features of insurance, is productive of much
evil to the Order and much delay in the payment of insurance
losses. This difficulty can be entirely obviated by the adop-
tion of a law providing for the issuing of all policies by
the Grand Lodge, where a correct record of them can be
kept, and the status of each policy determined each month
by reports from subordinate Lodges. The direction as to
payment should also be made, so that no question as to
legality of such payment may arise, thus enabling a prompt
payment of all losses that now, in many cases, are delayed,
waiting proper evidence as to the lawful heirs. This feature
of our organization has occupied much of my thoughts during
the term, and a revised mode of collection and disbursement
of insurance will be presented at this session for your con-
sideration, which I think will prove much more efficient than
our present system, and I recommend it to your earnest con-
Our system of physical examination is another matter to
which I wish to call your attention. It is, in my opinion,
not sufficiently thorough, and a form should be adopted
which enters more into detail, and which will show con-
clusively that a thorough examination has been made.
There also exists in many Lodges an irregularity in keep-
ing the insurance and Lodge accounts, and I think it would
be well to make it obligatory upon each Lodge to keep a
record of insurance moneys in manner and form as adopted
by the Grand Lodge at its last session. In some Lodges
this is not necessary, but in a majority of cases it would be
for the best.
Agreeably to the resolution of the Grand Lodge, at its
last semi-annual session, I prepared and caused to be printed
an official death notice, a copy of which I now present for
If your Grand body approves of the plan of collecting
and disbursting of insurance money, as proposed in the revis-
ion of the law, I would respectfully urge that you instruct
your representatives to the Supreme Lodge to have that body
adopt a similar plan.
I also call your especial attention to our Ritualistic work.
The wide-spread dissatisfaction at the whole-sale plagiarism
contained therein has been and is now operating very disas-
trously to our organization. I have no desire to reflect
upon those who prepared the work, as many of them
were not familiar with the secret work of other organizations.
I would suggest that your Grand body appoint a competent
committee of not less than five to draft a new ritualistic
or secret work before the next session of the Supreme Lodge,
to be presented to that body for consideration, by your rep-
resentatives, at its meeting in this city in March next.
I would also suggest that you authorize and instruct that
committee to revise the secret work of the Degree of Honor,
enabling a permanent organization to be made under it, and
adopting the work thereto as one of the degrees of the order,
reporting the same to the representatives to the Supreme
As stated in the opening paragraph of this report, our
order has steadily advanced since our last session; among
the many influences which have been at work in this direction,
the most prominent and useful has been the official organ of
the Order, The American Working People. From almost
every State in the Union, particularly in this and adjoining
States, it has brought inquiries about the Order, which Brother
Joseph Phillips, the publisher, has handed to me for reply.
Through these inquiries many new Lodges in this and other
States have been organized, the members of which received
their first knowledge of the Order through the above paper.
As indicated in the above report, the inadequate provi-
sions both of the laws and usages in force at the time I
assumed the duties of Grand Recorder, were at once
made apparent, especially did this apply to the conduct
of the insurance department. The Order was growing
rapidly and as it increased and spread over more ex-
tended territory the necessity for more strict supervision
and better business methods, was imperatively demanded.
The laws of the Order, other than those applying to
the Insurance Fund, had up to this time received the
larger part of attention in the legislation of the Grand
Lodge and were fairly well adapted to the general gov-
ernment of the Order. They were, however, in an un-
systemized form and the need of revision and classifica-
tion was apparent. To this end, in the latter part of the
year 1873, with the valuable assistance of Brother Alfred
Matthias, a member of Lodge No. 27, Pittsburgh, I made
an entire revision of the laws governing the Order in
Pennsylvania. This revision was submitted to the Grand
Lodge at its meeting, January 13, 1874, and adopted with
a few minor changes.
Prior, however, to this meeting of the Grand Lodge,
the revision had been submitted to a general meeting of
the members of the Order in Pittsburgh and vicinity,
and thoroughly discussed and approved. An incident
connected with this meeting of personal application to
myself and in appreciation of labor performed in this
matter, may not be out of place to here refer to. I was
surprised in entering the assembly room to observe a
large table in the center of the room, fully concealed
under cover, and wondered what the object was, but was
not enlightened until later in the evening when the dis-
closure was made and I was presented with a complete
dinner set of moss rose chinaware. Needless to say that
I appreciated this token of regard, the memory of which
today remains a treasured one.
As the object of this history is more directly centered
in tracing the insurance or protective feature as it devel-
oped, and as the law contained in this revision, became
a guide to the Supreme Lodge in formulating its laws
in this matter, the Insurance Article as adopted is set
forth as follows :
Section 1. The Grand Lodge of the Ancient Order of
United Workmen, of Pennsylvania, a body politic and cor-
porate, guarantees to each member of the third (or M. W.'s)
degree, the payment at his death of Two Thousand Dollars,
to such person or persons as he may, while living, direct.
Provided, That said member shall fully comply with each
and all requirements of the hereinafter specified conditions
and with the general laws governing said Corporation.
Section 2. Each and every member, upon applying for
the third (or M. W. 's) degree, (all requirements of mem-
bership, as provided for in Article II., Sections 1 and 2, of the
Subordinate Constitution having been fully complied with),
shall enter into a contract with the Grand Lodge, through its
agent the Subordinate Lodge, in the following manner and
form; said contract to be signed by the applicant and attested
by the Recorder of the Subordinate Lodge, with the seal
FORM OP APPLICATION FOR INSURANCE.
1 , having made application
for the third (or M. W.'s) degree in the Ancient Order of
United Workmen of Pennsylvania, and havig paid the sum
of one dollar to Lodge, No , an
authorized agent of the above Grand Lodge, do hereby agree
that compliance with the following conditions herein set
forth, are the conditions upon which I am to be insured. I
also certify that the answers made by me to the questions
propounded by the medical examiner of this Lodge (a correct
copy of which is attached to this application, and forms a
part thereof) are true; and I hereby agree, in consideration
of the policy of $2,000 to be issued to me by said Grand
Lodge, to pay all insurance assessments lawfully made upon me
by said Grand Lodge, within twenty days- from the date of
notice thereof. I further agree that should I fail or neglect
to pay any assessment or assessments as above, within the
said twenty days, the Policy of Insurance, issued as above,
shall be null and void; and that myself, or my legal repre-
sentative, shall not be entitled to, nor have any claim under
said policy. I further agree to accept said policy, subject
to such laws, rules and regulation as now exist, or may here-
after be adopted by and governing said Corporation.
I also agree, that said policy shall not be considered in
force by me, until I have taken the third (or M. W.'s) de-
gree, and until countersigned by the M. W. and Recorder of
the said above Lodge No
I hereby authorize said Insurance at my death to be paid
to , of , State of
, bearing relationship to myself of ,
and whose receipt at my death to the Grand Lodge of Penn-
sylvania shall cancel in full all obligations existing under the
.* , Applicant.
(Seal of Lodge.)
Section 3. Each applicant, upon signing the aforesaid
application for Insurance, shall pay to the Financier the sum
of two dollars, one dollar of which shall be known as the
Insurance Fund, and shall be placed as herein after provided,
the remaining $1.00 to be forwarded by the Recorder of the
Subordinate Lodge to the Grand Recorder of the State, (the
same to be placed by him in the Grand Lodge fund), together
with the aforesaid physician's certificate, and the application
Section 4. The Grand Lodge shall issue, or cause to he
issued, all Policies of Insurance, which Policies shall set forth
the amount to be paid at the death of the member insured,
and to whom payable; the same to be signed by the G. M. W.,
with the seal of the Grand Lodge attached, and attested by the
Grand Recorder. Upon application for a policy as aforesaid,
the Grand Recorder shall immediately issue and forward said
policy to the Subordinate Lodge, when it shall be counter-
signed by the M. W., with the seal of the Subordinate Lodge
attached, and attested by the Recorder.
It shall be the duty of the Grand Recorder to keep a
separate and distinct account with each Subordinate Lodge in
his jurisdiction, showing a full register of each policy issued,
and to whom, in said Lodge.
Each Subordinate Lodge shall make a full report to the
Grand Recorder, every thirty days, of all polices suspended,
annulled, withdrawn, or renewed.
When the applicant for insurance has received the third
(or M. W.'s) degree, the policy shall be delivered to him, and
a record of the same shall be made in the books of the Lodge,
and he shall from such date be insured in accordance with
the Laws, Rules and Regulations of the Corporation.
Section 5. Upon the death of any member, lawfully in-
sured as hereinbefore provided, it shall be the duty of the
Subordinate Lodge of which he was a member to notify offi-
cially by blank form of death notice the Grand Recorder of
the State who shall on the first day of the following month
notify each Subordinate Lodge in his jurisdiction, when the
Insurance Fund on hand in each Subordinate Lodge shall im-
mediately be forwarded (the same being one dollar for each
valid policy, and such sums as may have been received for
policies renewed) to the Grand Recorder. Each Subordinate
Lodge shall then make an assessment of one dollar for each
member; written notices of assessment shall be given by the
Financier of the Subordinate Lodge to each member holding
a policy, bearing date of not later than the 8th day of each
pnonth in which the notice was issued by the Grand Re-
corder. Twenty days from date of such notice by the Finan-
cier, and not later than the 28th day of said month in which
said notice of assessment was given, any member holding a
policy of insurance, having failed or neglected to pay said
assessment into the Insurance Fund, shall forfeit his rights
to said insurance. Should two or more notices of assess-
ment be received at the same time, the Subordinate Lodge
shall immediately forward the Insurance Fund, as hereinbe-
fore provided, which amount shall pay one notice. On or
before the 1st day of the following month, it shall forward to
the Grand Recorder one dollar for each valid policy so held
at that time under its jurisdiction for each remaining notice.
Any Lodge failing or declining to make returns as above,
so as to insure their receipt by the Grand Recorder during
the first week of each month, shall again be notified by the
Grand Recorder; and should such returns fail to be made
within one week from the date of said second notice, all
policies under the jurisdiction of said Lodge shall stand sus-
pended until said returns are made.
Sec. 6. The Financier of each Subordinate Lodge shall
keep a book, wherein all assessments of insurance shall be
entered against each member holding a policy; such entry
shall be made, bearing date not later than the 8th day of the
month in which said notice was received. On or before the
28th day of said month he shall furnish the Lodge with the
names of the members who are in arrears on such assess-
ments, and the Recorder shall place the same on the minutes
of the Lodge. The Financier shall, upon the receipt of any
arrearages from insurance assessments as provided for in
Sees. 7, 8 and 9 of this Article, pay the same into the Insur-
ance Fund (said amount from arrearages to be forwarded
to the Grand Recorder upon the first draft on said fund
thereafter), and notify the Lodge of the same; and the Re-
corder shall so place it on the minutes of the Lodge.
Sec. 7. Any member who forfeits his insurance by rea-
son of non-payment of assessments thereon, may renew the
same at any time within a period of three months from the
date of said forfeiture; Provided, he shall pay all assessments
that have been made during that time.
Sec. 8. Any member in arrears on insurance assessments
for a term exceeding three months, must again be examined
by the medical examiner of the Lodge, and his certificate
shall be forwarded to the Grand Recorder, together with the
notice of renewal of his policy; he shall also pay all arrear-
ages of insurance assessments, and in addition thereto, shall
pay into the treasury of the Subordinate Lodge the sum of
not less than two dollars, when he shall again be reinstated
to membership and insurance. Provided, That, by a vote, a
majority of the Lodge consent thereto.
Sec. 9. Any member in arrears for insurance assessments
for the period of six months, shall stand suspended from all
benefits and privileges in the Order, and shall not be rein-
stated until he has complied with all the requirements of
Article XL, Sec. 3, of Subordinate Constitution.
Sec. 10. Any member suspended from the Order for any
cause whatever, forfeits all claims of insurance.
Sec. 11. The Financier of the Subordinate Lodge shall
pay over to the Receiver all insurance moneys, taking his
receipt therefor; which moneys shall be held by the Receiver
subject to the order of the Grand Recorder under the seal of
the Grand Lodge. Upon the payment of each assessment
notice, the Subordinate Lodge shall forward to the Grand Re-
corder, in addition to the Insurance Fund the sum of twenty-
No draft shall be made by the Grand Recorder on the Sub-
ordinate Lodges for insurance, until there is less than $2,000
in the Insurance Fund in the Grand Lodge; he shall adjust
and pay all losses promptly, occurring under the policies issued
by the Grand Lodge, taking the receipt of the person or per-
sons named in the policies. He shall publish, or cause to be
published, in the official organ of the Order, a statement of
the receipts and disbursements of the Insurance Fund, in the
Grand Lodge, at least once each month, showing the balance of
said Fund on hand at the date of such statement.
FIRST GRAND LODGE BENEFICIAL
The change in the law made it necessary that a new
benefit certificate be formulated and issued and that all
members holding certificates issued by the Subordinate
Lodges surrender the same and take out the new one.
A new form had been prepared and was submitted to
the Grand Lodge with the revised laws. This form was
not entirely original as it was modeled somewhat after
policies issued by one of the large Mutual Insurance Com-
panies, making such changes as would adapt it to the
purposes of the Order.
As this was the first Beneficiary Certificate to be
issued by a Grand Lodge, it is set forth as follows :
ANCIENT ORDER OF WORKMEN OF PENNSYLVANIA.
This policy of Insurance, Witnesseth, that the Grand
Lodge of the Ancient Order of United Workmen of Penn-
sylvania in consideration of the representations and declara-
tions made to them in the application for this Policy bearing
date the day of 18 .... (which application
is made a part of this contract,) the receipt of which is here-
by acknowledged, and in consideration of the payment, to said
Grand Lodge of all assessments made upon this Policy in
accordance with the terms subscribed to in the aforesaid ap-
plication. Do hereby Insure the Life of Brother
in the sum of
Two Thousand Dollars.
To be paid at his death to it is
also understood and agreed that the conditions set forth in
the application for this Policy are the conditions upon which
Brother is Insured and that any
violation of said conditions renders this Policy null and void,
and that said Grand Lodge shall not then
be liable for the above sum Insured or any
In Witness whereof, the said Grand
Lodge of Pennsylvania have hereunto af-
Grand Lodge Seal. fixed their Corporate geal> attes ted by the
Grand Master Workman and Grand Re-
corder at this day
of One thousand Eight hundred
Grand Master Workman
We the Undersigned, Master Workman
and Recorder of Lodge
Subordinate No do hereby countersign and at-
Lodge Seal. tached the Seal of this Lodge thereunto,
rendering this Policy valid and full force,
this day of 18
MEDICAL EXAMINER'S REPORT.
A new Medical Examiner's report blank had likewise
been prepared in advance and accompanied the revised
laws and was adopted by the Grand Lodge. This report
also was copied from the blank then in use by the same
Mutual Insurance Company that served as a model for
the Benefit Certificate, making only such changes as
would adapt it to the Order. The examining physician
was to be a member of the lodge whenever practicable
and his report endorsed by a committee of the lodge.
The adoption of this blank was vigorously opposed
upon the ground that we were drifting away from the
broad humanitarian ideas of the founders and were en-
deavoring to turn the Order into an insurance company
and it was only by a slight margin over the constitu-
tional requirement that it was finally adopted.
As this was the first effort to secure a practical medi-
cal examination of applicants for membership, the form is
given in full as follows :
MEDICAL EXAMINER'S REPORT.
On Application . for membership in
Lodge No A. O. U. W., made
this day of 187
1. Name of Applicant in Full?
2. Residence Postoffice, County and State?
3. A — Occupation? B. Age?
4. Married or Single?
5. State the approximate Weight, Height, Figure, Gen-
eral Appearance, and Measurement of Chest on forced
expiration and forced inspiration?
6. Is the party at this time in his ordinary state of
7. Has the party ever been abroad, or in any other
State, for the benefit of his health? If so, when,
where, and for what period?
8. A. Is the respiratory murmur clear and distinct over
B. Is the character of the respiration full, easy and
C. Are there any indications of disease of the organs
D. If so, state explicitly the result of the percussion
and auscultation, locating the seat and extent of the
9. A. Is the character of the heart's action uniform, free
B. Are its sounds and rythm regular and normal?
C. Are there any indications of disease of this organ,
or of the blood vessels?
D. If so, state the full extent and location of the
10. A. State the rate and other qualities of the person's
B. Does it intermit, become irregular or unsteady at
11. Is the person subject to cough expectoration, diffi-
culty of breathing, or palpitation?
12. A. Has the person ever had any disease of the brain,
the muscular or nervous system?
B. If so, state the full particulars.
13. A. Has the person had any diseases of the abdominal
or urinary organs?
B. If so, give particulars.
14. Have the person's parents, brothers, or sisters, been
afflicted with pulmonary or other hereditary dis-
eases? State particulars.
15. A. Are the parents of the party living?
B. If so, how old are they?
C. What is their state of health?
D. If not living, at what ages and of what disease did
16. A. To what extent does the person use alcoholic
B. To what extent does the person use tobacco?
C. To what extent does the person use opium?
D. Are there any indications that would lead you to
suppose that the applicant has led, or leads, other than
a sober and temperate life?
17. A. Has the person now, or has he ever had, any
serious disease, personal injury, the loss of any limb,
B. If so, has it permanently affected his constitution 9
18. Has he at any time had Paralysis, Apoplexy, Insanity,
Rheumatism, Gout, Dropsy, Bilious Colic, symptoms of
Disease of the Liver or Kidneys, Aneurism, Rupture,
Spitting of Blood, Asthma, Chronic Cough, Affection
of the lungs or other Viscera, Varicose or other Ulcers,
or any Organic Disease?
19. Has the party had Small-pox?
20. Has the party been successfully Vaccinated?
21. Name and Residence of the Party's usual Medical
Attendant, or the medical Attendant of the family, to
be referred to for information as to his health.
22. Name and Residence of an intimate friend, to be re-
ferred to for similar information.
23. Do you consider the applicant's life to be safely in-
surable: and do you recommend that a Policy be
24. Are the above answers made from personal exam-
ination, and from questions propounded to the appli-
Having carefully examined Mr in
accordance with the above Blank form, and having thor-
oughly considered the statement made therein, I hereby cer-
tify that, in my judgement as a physician, he is of sound
bodily health, and that there exist no indications of disease
either from parentage or personal habits that should de*bar
him from Life Insurance. I therefore recommend him as phys-
ically qualified for Membership and Beneficial Fund in the
For Lodge, No
We, the undersigned, a duly appointed Committee on the
Application of an applicant for
Membership in this Lodge, have carefully examined the above
Report of our Medical Examiner, and fully endorse his
In passing, it might here be remarked that a com-
parison of both the foregoing blanks with those in use
today by life insurance companies, show that forty years
ago, the companies like the fraternals were but at the
beginning of an evolutionary period, and that since that
time the fraternals have fairly well kept pace with the
companies in the advances made along protective lines.
DEATH REPORT BLANK, ETC.
Accompanying these revised laws was a Death Re-
port blank form to be used in making report of deaths
of members. This form required a report from the
officers of the lodge as to the good standing of the mem-
ber, age, residence, etc. — beneficiaries, age and resi-
dences of the same, and personal evidence as to identity,
also report of the physician that attended at the time of
death and that of the undertaker officiating at the burial.
This blank varied but little from that now in use in
A Financier's assessment book, a Benefit Certificate
Register book, a Roll book and a number of other blank
forms were approved, to be used by the subordinate offi-
cers upon the promulgation of the revised laws.
At the risk of bringing myself into undue prominence,
I cannot refrain from giving place to a portion of the
report of the Committee on the Grand Recorder's re-
port, commending my labor during my first year in that
office. (The Italics are those of the committee.)
* * * "And as to the many and wearisome labors of
the Grand Recorder, we know that we but utter the
feelings and sentiments of this Grand Lodge, when we
say that they have been fully appreciated, while we feel
and know that they have been entirely for the good of our
noble Order. We do hope that a vote of thanks will be
extended to him for the same." This was unanimously
done and I was re-elected to the position of Grand
The salary of the Grand Recorder was advanced to
$2,000 for the coming year, to include office rent and
The revised laws, as adopted, were to be submitted
for approval to the Supreme Lodge at its meeting in
Pittsburgh, March, 1874, accompanied by a recommenda-
tion urging that the insurance laws of the Supreme Lodge
be amended in accordance with those adopted by the
Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania.
At this meeting the following amendment to the in-
surance laws was offered and laid over for action at the
next annual session :
"That the age of applicants to our Order be 21 to 60,
and that the part regulating the fee to be paid into the
insurance fund upon becoming a M. W. be graduated
as to age accordingly, — From 21 to 30, $1.05; 30 to 35,
$1.10; 35 to 40, $1.15; 40 to 45, $1.20; 45 to 50, $1.25;
50 to 55, $1.30; 55 to 60, $1.35; and that a like amount
be paid upon each assessment accordingly. This article
not to effect present membership. ,,
It will be noted that thus early in the history of the
A. O. U. W. it was apparent that the inequities of a level
rate for all members, irrespective of age was recognized,
but upon the part of the large majority of the member-
ship there existed no desire for a change. They looked
upon a graded assessment as a violation of the principle
of that perfect mutuality to be accorded one brother to
another and while recognizing the added risk of advanc-
ing age, were willing to pay the added cost in order to
maintain the simplicity of like contribution and like
benefit to all.
PUTTING THE REVISED LAWS INTO
Immediately following this meeting of the Grand
Lodge of Pennsylvania, and the approval of its revised
laws by the Supreme Lodge, steps were taken to put
the new laws into effect. New books, blank form of new
beneficial certificate, Medical Examiner's report, death
report, monthly financial report showing collections on
each assessment, members suspended and those rein-
stated, remittance blanks, etc., were issued. Each mem-
ber was required to sign the application blank set forth
in the Constitution in which he made direction as to the
payment of the insurance fund at his death. Xo new
medical examination was required of members then in
the Order, nor were any debarred on account of advanced
I cannot better explain the situation at this time and
the. difficulties encountered in putting the new laws in
force than to give the following extract from my report
to the Grand Lodge at its semi-annual session July
"Brothers. — It gives me much pleasure to report to your
honorable body, at this your Fourth Semi-Annual session, a
continuation of that harmony and prosperity which for the
last two years has characterized us as an organization, and to
present to you the transactions and workings of the order for
the term which has just passed.
We have not increased in membership as rapidly as during
the previous term, yet we feel confident that our membership
is more stable and composed of better material than hereto-
fore. Many who joined as charter members, during the
early workings of the order, were not fully impressed with
the responsibilities and necessary cost of such an order, and
a large number have become suspended. There places have
been filled by others fully impressed with the serious duties
and objects of the order, and the new lodges instituted have
been started with better prospects for success than heretofore.
Our revised law and system regulating our insurance has
proven a strong ''pillar of strength" to the order. Not only
the membership, but strangers are enabled to trace our full
formula. It is so plain and simple, yet so effective, that
it at once commends itself to every intelligent man.
Financially we are in good condition, notwithstanding the
heavy drafts made during the term. Our revenues are
judicious and ample, our expenses moderate and within our
No discordant factions or rings exist in our ranks to mar
our harmony and prosperity. We have everything to en-
courage us in the prosecution of our noble work. Ought
we not to renew our zeal and redouble our energies personally
for the advancement of the order, and as a Grand Lodge,
in our legislation, use due care and discretion, that all our
acts may possess the virtue of wisdom and justice?
Agreeably to instructions of your Grand body, I prepared
and presented to the Supreme Lodge, at its session held in
Pittsburgh, March 14th, 1874, the revised constitution for the
government of the Grand and Subordinate Lodges of Penn-
sylvania, as adopted by you at your last Annual session. The
same being referred to the Committee on Law and Super-
vision of the Supreme Lodge, and receiving their endorsement
was, by the voice of the Supreme Lodge, ratified and became
the law of this Jurisdiction. New objects of the order were also
adopted, which, together with the revised law, I immediately
caused to be printed, and on April 4th I forwarded five
copies to each Subordinate Lodge, with an official communi-
cation proclaiming it the law to govern and direct their ac-
tions from that date. I had in the meantime prepared all
the necessary books, blanks, applications, contracts etc., etc.,
necessary to the working of the new insurance law. Your
Committee on Physician Certificate, agreeably to your instruc-
tions, presented the new physician certificate. I caused the
same to be printed, and together with other blank forms for-
warded to each Subordinate Lodge with proper instructions.
The applications for policies of insurance for the old mem-
bership in the order, in accordance with the resolution of your
Grand body at its last Annual session, I caused to be printed,
together with a blank notice for the Financier of each lodge,
for distribution to the membership, setting forth what was
required in said applications.
Brother Phillips having immediately after its passage by
the Grand Lodge, caused to be printed the Insurance and
Subordinate Constitution in the columns of his paper, I
thought it would be well, as there was a vast number of in-
quiries as to what the new law was, to purchase (the expense
incurred being only about twenty dollars) a sufficient number
of copies to send to each lodge two copies. This proved of
much good, for upon the promulgation of the new law mem-
bers had had ample opportunity to discuss and understand
the modus operandi of the new insurance law.
The only difficulty I have experienced in procuring appli-
cations for policies grew out of a misapprehension on the
part of some lodges, they supposing that each old member was
required by the new contitution to pay one dollar for his
policy. This difficulty might have been obviated by my cir-
cular to the lodges, but supposing each lodge was conversant
with the action of the Grand Lodge on this matter, I did
not deem it necessary. Much writing and explanation to-
gether with delay in getting the applications was the result.
The committee appointed to prepare a design and have
printed a new policy of insurance, discharged that duty (a full
detail of which will appear in their report), and the policies
were delivered to me on April 9th, 1874. The G. M. W.
caused to be issued a notice that no insurance assessment
would be made during the months of April and May, and
instructing lodges to act promptly in making applications
for policies. I have received applications and issued 2,694
policies up to this date. There yet remains perhaps two
hundred M. "W. degree members in good standing in the
several Subordinate Lodges in this jurisdiction, who have
either neglected or refused to make application for policies.
This is a great source of annoyance, not only to the officers
of the Subordinate Lodges, but to the Grand Recorder, and
keeps the books of the Grand Lodge in a shape which is
very unsatisfactory. Your honorable body is respectfully
asked to legislate on this very important matter.
The great change in our operations has not been accom-
plished without much labor and patience. Many of our
brothers, members of the Grand Lodge, were fearful of the
effect on our Subordinate Lodges of so radical a change in
the features of our order, and while I felt that in its concep-
tion the principal was the only one that would prove success-
ful in the order, yet I knew that any important errors com-
mitted in the numerous details connected with the practical
workings thereof, would render the same unpopular and per-
haps utterly destroy its feasibility.
Having no precedent to be guided by, I gathered from my
personal knowledge of the workings of the order and consulta-
tion with the best practical business men of the order, and a
thorough knowledge gained of Life Insurance system as prac-
ticed by companies in general, much aid in completing our
present blank forms, etc. I trust now, that to a great extent,
the formula is complete — that the work will bear inspection,
and be found in practical operation, a success. Like most
great changes, however, it is in some respects imperfect, there
being several points upon which the decision of this Grand
Lodge is necessary. * * * *
Agreeably to instructions of your Grand body, I presented
an application to the Supreme Lodge from the Grand Lodge
of Pennsylvania, requesting action making this State an in-
dependent jurisdiction in the management and control of its
insurance. The S. M. W. was instructed as soon as the
membership outside of this State should be two thousand, to
issue the edict, and it is with pleasure that I inform your
Grand body that Pennsylvania has been set apart as an
independent jurisdiction, and will hereafter collect and dis-
burse insurance only in the State. I hold this to be a
great step, and a favorable one to her future. It now be-
hooves your Grand Body to take some action by which the
limits of the order in the State will be extended. It will be
remembered that I mentioned this in my report at the last
Annual session, but did not urge it, as the disposition of many,
with whom 1 conversed relative to the matter, was to wait un-
til Pennsylvania was set apart, and our new insurance sys-
tem in perfect operation.
The time has now arrived, and unless something is done
younger States of the organization will outrank us in num-
bers, to say nothing of the danger of our order being sup-
planted by similar organizations which are rapidly pushing
their claims upon those whom we should claim as our pa-
I claim no credit, nor do I speak egotistically when I
assert that our system of conducting the insurance depart-
ment of our order is much more perfect in Pennsylvania than
in any of the other States in which the order is established.
In fact it is so clear, so easily understood and so feasible
that it is attracting the attention of business men and others
who like the mechanic and day laborer, are desirous of pro-
curing Life Insurance at the smallest possible cost, coupled
with security and prompt payment. I will therefore again
urge that before your Grand body adjourns you define some
plan by which the advantages of our order will be made
known to the inhabitants of every city, town and village in
this jurisdiction. I am well aware that no appropriations
of moneys can be made at this session for the purpose, but
the G. M. W. could be instructed to secure a well qualified
brother, whose duty it would be to travel in the interests of
the order, talking it up in localities where it is unknown,
and establish lodges in every county in the State, if possible,
during the coming term. I am confident that all our order
needs to extend its limits is simply to present to the people
a knowledge of its objects and its merits. Again, I do not
think a man who posseses the requisite ability to fill a posi-
tion of this kind, would be in the end an expense to the
Grand .Lodge, as the revenue derived from such new lodges
as he was instrumental in establishing would more than
pay all of his expenses. Again, it is now a great want of
the order to have some one who can visit different lodges
in the State and instruct them fully in matters pertaining to
our financial transactions, the lack of a thorough understand-
ing of which is a source of great detriment to many of our
Subordinate Lodges. This I consider the most important
matter for consideration at this session. Let a wise and
judicious plan be proposed and the Grand Lodge officers in-
structed to see the same carried out. * * * *
Finally, the order is proving itself in its workings all that
its most sanguine friends predicted for it. Let us renew
our energies, legislate with great care, and trust with a firm
reliance upon the Supreme Power for a glorious future. * *
The year 1874 was notable in the business depres-
sion existing in the country at large, yet with this draw-
back, the propagation of the Order in new territory and
accessions of members in the lodges already established
had been such as to give a great degree of encourage-
ment to those having the destinies of the Order in
At the end of the year 1874, the Order in Pennsyl-
vania had reached across the entire State, establishing
lodges in a number of the important cities, including
Philadelphia with two prosperous lodges and a number
of others in process of formation.
The membership in the State had increased to three
thousand and thirty-seven and the number of lodges to
In July, 1874, Pennsylvania was set apart as a Sepa-
rate Beneficiary Jurisdiction, being the first Grand Lodge
to be so set apart. This had acted as an incentive to
greater interest and activity on the part of the members.
The feeling was that now the Order was more nearly a
home institution and a State pride was generated, mani-
festing itself in zealous enthusiasm and renewed activity
to extend the limit of the Order over the State.
Reference has heretofore been made to the advan-
tage sought to be attained by the creating of Separate
Beneficiary Jurisdictions. A further word however, is
necessary in order to correctly understand just what was
in mind when this legislation was first enacted. It was
entirely foreign to the minds of those who had been in-
strumental in bringing about such a provision of the
law, that in so doing they were creating independencies
by which one portion of the Order was to be divorced
from another with no mutuality of responsibility to main-
tain the good name and credit of the Order financially or
otherwise. Such a thought would have been met by a
most emphatic denial on the part of the whole mem-
It was considered that when a State Jurisdiction had
reached a membership of two thousand and was able
with one assessment to pay the full amount of the benefit
certificate, that it would be a remote contingency that
would thereafter involve it in financial difficulty, and
that should such a contingency arise, confidence was firm-
ly fixed in the integrity of the brotherhood to meet the
This optimistic view of the future had its warrant
in the great success met with wherever the claims of the
order were presented. A single state was considered
a field of sufficient dimensions for successful operation.
The experience thus far gained in Pennsylvania where
the order had, in the space of six years, established
itself and had grown to over three thousand members
seemed to present conclusive evidence that the order in
any state, being protected until it had reached two thous-
and members and could pay each claim by one assessment,
was in a position thereafter to meet its financial obliga-
tions without assistance.
The arguments favoring the policy of Separate State
Jurisdictions were many and appealed strongly to the
membership, principal among which was the lessening of
accumulation of funds in one place; the closer scrutiny
of financial transactions; a more careful supervision over
physical and moral qualifications of applicants ; the gen-
erating of a spirit of commenditory rivalry between dif-
ferent jurisdictions in building up and maintaining a high
degree of efficiency and progress ; these with other appar-
ent justifiable reasons led to the policy that has ever
since been maintained by the A. O. U. W.
SUPREME LODGE 1874— 1880.
The intention of the writer of this short history of
the early years of Fraternal Benefit Societies, in this
country, is only to cover the period from the formation
of the first society to the time when the system of pro-
tection, specially inherent in this class of organizations,
had assumed proportions and business acumen such as
gave promise of future success and permanency.
Up to May 1873, covering a period of nearly five
years, the Ancient Order of United Workmen, the found-
er of the system, was the sole occupant of the field, and
of necessity this history so far has been restricted to
tracing the progress made by this society. The time had
now arrived when other societies of like character and
purpose were to follow the lead of the parent society and
aid in extending this system of home protection. Dur-
inging the year 1873 two new societies were formed
with like purpose to that of the A. O. U. W. and a bene-
ficial department was added to an organization already
in existence, extending similar protection to such mem-
bers as might desire to avail themselves of its privileges.
Special mention will hereafter be made as to these and
other societies, soon to follow in this field of activity.
From 1874 and the first meeting of the Supreme
Lodge after its organization, to 1880 when the Relief Law
was adopted, was a period not only of wide extention
of the limits of the A. O. U. W. but also a period in which
was developed certain progressive measures necessary to
be followed in order that its settled policy may be more
Reference has already been made in the report of
Supreme Master Workman Walker, as to the progress of
the Order in 1873.
At the meeting held at Pittsburg, Pa., March 1874,
there were present the representatives of six Grand
Lodges, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana. Iowa
and Xew York, the aggregate membership of which at
that date was about forty-two hundred.
At this meeting was presented, for approval, the re-
vised laws adopted by the Grand Lodge of Pennsyl-
vania, accompanied by the new form of Medical Exam-
iners blank. Benefit Certificate and other blanks, with
the recommendation that the revised insurance laws as
adopted by Pennsylvania, be adopted by the Supreme
Lodge for the entire Order. This recommendation re-
ceived no support, other than from a part of the repre-
sentatives from Pennsylvania, it being considered too
radical a change from the simplicity of former methods
and to a certain extent a pervertion of the broad human-
itarian principles enunciated in the objects and ritual
of the Order. However the revised laws for Pennsyl-
vania were approved and permission granted to put them
in operation in that jurisdiction. In approving the Med-
ical Examination blank and form of application, the
committee tersely remarked, "Your committee, however,
observe that the system of 'red tape' is growing entirely
too much for the comfort of subordinate lodges."
The failure to have the Supreme Lodge adopt the
reforms as provided in the revised law of Pennsylvania,
left the Order outside of that Jurisdiction, still operating
under the loose and imperfect methods previously em-
ployed. However, this much advancement was accom-
plished ; the Medical Examination blank as adopted by
Pennsylvania was approved as the form to be used by the
order at large ; the laws were amended by substituting
the word "Beneficial" for the word "Insurance" wherever
it occurs; the "Objects" of the Order were revised, modi-
fying the previous references to class distinctions and
enlarging that pertaining to the beneficial fund to read :
"To create and disburse a fund for the benefit of its
members, paying stipulated sums during sickness or other
disability; and in case of death, two thousand dollars to
such person or persons as the member may direct, thus
enabling every member to leave to his family a com-
petency sufficient to educate his children and place his
family above want and charity."
A commendatory resolution recognizing the bene-
fit derived from the two publications then issued in the
interest of the order, viz. The American Working
People, Pittsburg, Pa., and A. O. U. W. Bulletin, Cin-
cinnati, Ohio, was adopted and continued patronage
solicited, endorsement was also given to Representative
Black of Pennsylvania to issue a paper to be known as
the United Workman.
The Ritual adopted at the last meeting was amended
by eliminating as far as possible the plagiarism and a com-
mittee appointed of which Representative McNair was
chairman, to present a new ritual at the next meeting
of the Supreme Lodge.
R. D. Handy of Kentucky was elected Supreme Mas-
tter Workman ; Wm. Martindale of Indiana, Supreme
Recorder ; L. C. Squares of New York, Supreme Receiver
and myself as Supreme Trustee.
The next meeting was to be held in Indianapolis,
Ind., March 1875.
The Order was fortunate in the year 1874 — 75 in
having at its head a man of wise discernment and matured
business ability; Supreme Master Workman Handy, as
already mentioned was an attorney of extended prac-
tice; a man of broad humanitarian instincts that led
him to become deeply interested in the success of the
order. As the first Grand Master Workman of Ken-
tucky he had gathered some experience that aided him
in the prosecution of the work in the broader field he
was called to occupy. As before noted, the failure of
the Supreme Lodge to adopt and apply the reforms con-
tained in the Pennsylvania laws, made systematic con-
duct of the business in the Supreme Lodge Jurisdiction
perplexing and unsatisfactory. With energy and de-
cision, Supreme Master Workman Handy as far as pos-
sible under the laws as they existed, sought to bring
business order and efficiency into control. In reporting
his acts to the Supreme Lodge, he says:
" When I came into office I found confusion to exist every*
where in the Order. The Order being in its infancy, more
attention has been bestowed in spreading and increasing, than
in consolidating and perfecting the system. The consequence
was that an almost endless variety and diversity of opinion
existed in the Order upon nearly every question that could
arise under the Constitution, or the Rules and Regulations as
prescribed by this Supreme Lodge. No uniform system ex-
isted throughout the Order. It was apparent to me at once
that this chaos must be reduced to system; that it was folly
to think of managing such vast machinery where such large
interests were involved, unless it was done systematically
and uniformly. I therefore first applied myself in endeav-
oring to reduce this confusion to order. Letters came pour-
ing in upon me from all quarters in large numbers, asking
information upon every imaginable question, and craving my
decision. 1 endeavored to answer promptly all these letters,
giving fully all the information asked for, so far as it was
in my power."
One of the first acts of the Supreme Master Work-
man was to issue series of rules relative to the operation
of the insurance department. These rules followed as
closely as the laws of the Supreme Jurisdiction would
permit, those adopted by the Grand Lodge of Pennsyl-
The one great obstacle, however, that stood in the
way of effective reform, was the fact that subordinate
lodges were still issuing the original "Insurance Policy"
with no record of such issuance in either the Supreme
or Grand Recorder's office and entire reliance had to
be placed for correct accounting of the insurance fund
on the financial officers of the subordinate lodge who
were in many instances incompetent and the business
suffered thereby. One year's experience in the revised
system operative in Pennsylvania had proven it superior
merit over that of the Supreme Jurisdiction and many
who had opposed reforms the ye&r previous on account
of "red tape," were now ready to acknowledge that
the "simple methods" so strenuously urged at that time,
were inadequate for successful operation in the broader
field the order then occupied. A committee was there-
fore appointed consisting of representative Myers of
Pennsylvania, Shryock of Kentucky and myself to report
at the next annual meeting of the Supreme Lodge an
entire revision of the laws of the Order.
At this meeting the Grand Lodge of Ohio was set
apart as a separate Beneficiary Jurisdiction to date from
March 20, 1875.
A new ritual together with odes set to music was
adopted the author of which was representative J. M.
McNair of Pennsylvania.
A lithographed form of Charter plate for Supreme,
Grand and Subordinate Lodges was adopted, which
forms are still in use in the order.
The average membership of the order for the year
1874 was 5,194 and the mortuary rate 13.66.
J. M. McNair of Pennsylvania was elected Supreme
Master Workman; Dr. J. B. Steves of Kentucky who
had served as Supreme Recorder in 1873 was again
elected to that position, and Benjamin Davis of Indiana
was elected Supreme Receiver.
The next meeting was to be held in Covington, Ky.,
The Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania held its fifth
annual meeting in January 1875 and I had been re-elected
unanimously by the Past Master Workmen of the sub-
ordinate lodges to the position of Grand Recorder; per-
sonal business, however, made it impossible for me longer
to serve in that capacity and my resignation was re-
luctantly accepted by the Grand Lodge, and J. M. McNair
was elected to the position. Therefore during the year
1875 — 76 he occupied the dual position of Supreme Mas-
ter Workman and Grand Recorder. He brought to the
position of Supreme Master Workman a thorough
knowledge of the laws and usages as they then existed
and practical experience gathered from nearly one year's
occupancy of the office of Grand Recorder. Further
than this, his enthusiastic optimism as to the order knew
no bounds as may be gathered from the following extract
from his report to the Supreme Lodge, March 1876: —
The amount of insurance paid by the different jurisdictions
during the year just passed, is as follows:
S. L. Sub.
Look at the figures!
Behold the magnitude,
and see what
a great tire a litle spark kindleth. Think of the good that
has been accomplished; the homes that would otherwise be
homes of penury, that have been made homes of plenty; and
rejoice that you are priviledged with engaging in such a work.
Rejoice that by the blessing of God you have aided in cheer-
ing so may homes, while you have helped to surround the
widow and orphans with a competency that places them above
want and its terrible consequences. Let us thank God, take
courage, and with renewed zeal work for the future pros-
perity and upbuilding of our noble Order. Let our ambition
be to spread its influences far and wide so that the millions
of good, true men of this and all other lands be privileged
to unite with us, thereby securing to us and their families
the benefits and blessings of our Order:
No pent up continent contracts our powers,
But the whole boundless universe is ours.
We seek to bless the world by our efforts, and to elevate
and enoble the race. Let us for our comfort remember that it
has been authoritatively said: "Love God and do good and
verily thou shalt be fed." I would not have you go away from
here and proclaim that tffe insurance feature is the great sum
total of all that is good in our Order. No, no. Read our ob-
jects and think of the principles, and get them fixed in your
hearts; then shall you bless the world, because you are filled
with the spirit of our mission, which will lead you to do good
work in lifting up our fellow men and helping them to fit
themselves for any station in society. Brother Workmen, up
and to work zealously, fearlessly and unweariedly, and you
shall receive your reward.
The prospects for our order were never so good as at the
present, tor from almost all over the country comes up the
request tor information how to proceed to get the order in-
trduced with them. * * * *
In the latter part of the year 1874, O. J. Noble a
Past Master Workman of Pennsylvania was commis-
sioned deputy to extend the order into Illinois and on
Nov. 18, 1874 he organized Noble lodge No. 1, at Rock
Island and in the forepart of the year 1875, Lodge No.
2, at Moline, No. 3, at Sterling; No. 4, at Rock Island
and No. 5, at Rock Falls. The Grand Lodge was or-
ganized at Rock Island, June 28, 1875 and was represent-
ed at the meeting of the Supreme Lodge March 1876.
H. G. Pratt, who was the first Grand Receiver of the
incorporated Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, having re-
moved to California was appointed a deputy for that
State, and on August 21, 1875, organized California
Lodge No. 1, at Oakland; followed soon after by the
organizing of nine other lodges in and near San Fran-
cisco. The Grand Lodge, however, was not instituted
until November 1877, at which time Bro. Pratt was
elected Grand Recorder and continued in that office until
The Order was first introduced into Michigan by
R. H. Sanborn, a Past Master Workman, of New York,
by the organization of Essex Lodge No. 1, at Maple
Rapids, January 26, 1876.
The first lodge in Missouri was instituted at St. Louis,
May 12, 1875, by deputy R. L. Miller.
In the mean time deputies had also been appointed
for Western and Eastern Colorado and Wisconsin, and
Minnesota but no lodges had been organized up to the
meeting of the Supreme Lodge in 1876.
At this meeting of the Supreme Lodge the Grand
Lodge of Iowa was set apart as a Separate Beneficiary
Jurisdiction to date from April 1, 1876, there being
over two thousand members in the state.
The main interest of this meeting centered in the re-
port of the Committee on revision of the entire laws of
the Order which had been appointed at the last meeting
of the Supreme Lodge. In the preliminary work of this
committee assignment had been made to Representatives
Myers and Shryock to codify and perfect the laws other
than those relating to the Beneficial Fund which latter
was assigned to myself and later the work had been com-
bined and was presented to the Supreme Lodge for its
action. As before mentioned, legislation had thus far
been more particularly directed to enactment of laws
regulating the general government of the Order than in
perfecting its beneficiary system. The revised code there-
fore, presented by the committee made but little change
in the laws then in force as to the supervision and gen-
eral control of the lodges and members of the Order.
Its merit other than the reforms in the beneficiary sys-
tem consisted in systematizing and rendering more logical,
clear and distinct the meaning intended to be conveyed.
Special mention, however, should be made of the au-
thority and powers vested in the Supreme Lodge by
these laws, as follows :
NAME, AUTHORITY AND POWER.
Section 1. This body shall be known by the name, style
and title of the Supreme Lodge of the Ancient Order of
United Workmen; it is the source of all true and legitimate
authority over the Order, and possesses as such, supreme
and absolute power over the same and all the works pertain-
Section 2. To this Supreme Lodge is reserved the power
to establish the Ancient Order of United Workmen in such
States and countries, wherein the same has not been estab-
lished, and to it belongs the immediate jurisdiction over all
Subordinate Lodges in such States and countries as are with-
out Grand Lodges.
Section 3. To this Supreme Lodge belongs the power to
regulate and control the unwritten work of the order, and
to fix and determine the customs and usages in regard to all
things appertaining thereto, and to change, alter, or amend
the same, and to it belongs the power to establish, print and
provide all charter plates for Grand and Subordinate Lodges,
and all charges, lectures, degrees, odes and withdrawal, trav-
eling and final cards, for the use of the order. The un-
written work of the Order shall not be altered or amended
except by a two-thirds vote of the representatives present
at a regular session.
Section 4. To the Supreme Lodge belongs the power to
enact uniform insurance or beneficiary laws, and a constitu-
tion for the government of Subordinate Lodges, where no
Grand Lodges exists, and all laws or regulations of general
application to the order; and the exclusive power to approve
of all Grand Lodge Constitutions, and by-laws for Subordinate
Lodges under the immediate jurisdiction of this Lodge, which
must be submitted to the Supreme Lodge, and all laws for the
government of the Order shall be uniform and in accordance
with the general laws established by the Supreme Lodge.
Section 5. To this Supreme Lodge belongs the exclusive
power to design and regulate all regalia, tools, emblems and
other paraphernalia for the work of the order.
Section 6. All power and authority in the Order not ex-
pressly delegated to Grand Lodges, by their Charters, the
general laws or by-laws, or resolutions of this Supreme Lodge
is reserved to the Supreme Lodge of the United States.
Under the system of divided authority in the con-
trol of the Beneficiary Fund it was necessary to prescribe
laws governing three distinct conditions (i) Governing
Grand Lodges that collect and disburse the Beneficiary
Fund as a Separate Jurisdiction, (2) Governing
Grand Lodges under the immediate jurisdiction of the
Supreme Lodge and (3) Governing Subordinate lodges
under the immediate jurisdiction of the Supreme Lodge.
In order for a clear understanding of this division
of control, the law as set forth in regard to the first two
of these is given in full, as follows : That applicable to
subordinate lodges was identical with the law oif Penn-
sylvania, already set forth on page only making
such changes as would adapt it to the Supreme Lodge.
Governing Grand Lodges, which Collect and Disburse the
Beneficiary Fund as a Separate Jurisdiction.
When a Grand Lodge shall have under its jurisdiction two
thousand valid beneficiary certificates, such Grand Lodge may
petition the Supreme Lodge to be set apart as a separate
beneficial jurisdiction, with power to collect and disburse,
within itself, the beneficiary fund, subject to and in accordance
with the general laws, rules and regulations of the Supreme
Lodge. Such petition, so made, may be granted by a majority
vote of the Supreme Lodge at any regular session, provided,
that at the date of granting such petition the combined num-
ber of valid beneficiary certificates still remaining under the
Supreme Lodge shall not be less than two thousand; and
provided, further, that such Grand Lodge so petitioning shall
fully comply with the following specified conditions:
1. Said Grand Lodge shall be responsible for, and shall
pay to the Supreme Recorder, all assessments of the benefic-
iary fund made on deaths occuring on and before the date
of separation, and the Supreme Lodge shall pay all losses oc-
curring in the jurisdiction of said Grand Lodge up to and
including said date.
2. Said Grand Lodge shall not receive or be entitled to
any surplus moneys that may be in the beneficiary fund in
the Supreme Lodge after settlement has been made of losses
occuring prior to the date of separation.
3. Each Grand Lodge so set apart as a beneficiary juris-
diction shall manage within itself the beneficiary depart-
ment, assessing, collecting and disbursing the beneficial fund,
in accordance with and governed by the general laws and
usages prescribed by the Supreme Lodge to Subordinate
Lodges under its immediate jurisdiction, and no alteration or
amendment to such law or usage shall be made except by the
4. The Grand Recorder of each Grand Lodge so set apart
shall make full report to the Supreme Recorder each month
of all beneficiary moneys received and disbursed in his jur-
isdiction, and the Supreme Recorder shall make Record of
the same in the books of the Supreme Lodge.
5. Should any Grand Lodge, set apart as a separate jur-
isdiction, be, from any cause, reduced to less than two
thousand members, it shall immediately come under the con-
trol of the Supreme Lodge, and the members in said juris-
diction shall have the same privilege and benefits, and sub-
ject to the same duties and liabilities to the Supreme Lodge
as if said Grand Lodge had never been set apart as a separate
jurisdiction for the collection and disbursement of the bene-
ficiary fund and said Grand Lodge shall collect, pay over
and disburse all moneys in the same manner as required be-
fore it was set apart as a separate jurisdiction, or as the
law requires for Grand Lodges that have never been set apart
as a separate jurisdiction.
Governing Grand Lodges under the Immediate Jurisdiction
of the Supreme Lodge.
Section 1. When a Grand Lodge has been formed in ac-
cordance with Art , Section , of this Constitu-
tion, and so long as it shall act under a Charter granted by
the Supreme Lodge, it shall be lawful for such Grand Lodge
to issue Beneficiary Certificates to members of the Sub-
ordinate Lodges in its jursdiction, in like manner and form,
and subject to the same laws, rules and regulations as that
prescribed tor and governing the Supreme Lodge. And the
collection and disbursement of the Beneficiary Fund, in such
jurisdiction, shall be in accordance with the following rules
Section 2. Immediately upon the formation of a Grand
Lodge, the Supreme Recorder shall make out and deliver to
the Grand Recorder a full register, by Lodges, of all Bene-
ficiary Certificates held under such Grand Lodge showing
the number, both of valid and suspended Beneficiary Cer-
tificates, and by whom held, in each Subordinate Lodge. He
Shall transfer to the Grand Recorder the medical examiner's
reports and the contracts upon which Beneficiary Certificates
were issued. He shall also make out a full record of the
officers of each Subordinate Lodge, the amount of beneficiary
fund received and dispensed by each Subordinate Lodge prior
to such date.
Secton 3. The Grand Recorder shall make record of all
matters received from the Supreme Recorder in the books
of the Grand Lodge; keeping such books in like manner and
form as prescribed by the Supreme Lodge, and he shall in
like manner thereafter keep a full record of all Beneficiary
Certificates issued, and from the monthly statements of each
Subordinate Lodge keep a full record of the status of all
Beneficiary Certificates in his jurisdiction. He shall upon the
receipt of official notice of the death of any member holding
a valid Beneficiary Certificate, immediately forward the same,
attested by the seal of the Grand Lodge, together with the
contract and medical examiner's report on which such de-
ceased member's Beneficiary Certificate was issued, to the
Supreme Recorder. He shall, upon official notice from the
Supreme Recorder ordering assessments for the Beneficiary
Fund, immediately proceed to assess and collect on all Bene-
ficiary Certificates in his jurisdiction in like manner and form,
and subject to the same laws, rules and regulations, as that
prescribed for and governing the assessing and collecting the
Beneficiary Fund from Subordinate Lodges under the juris-
diction of the Supreme Lodge. He shall make report not
later than the 15th day of each month, to the Supreme Re-
corder, of all moneys received for the Beneficiary Fund giv-
ing the name, number, location, and the amount paid by each
Subordinate Lodge in his Jurisdiction, and he shall forward
with said monthly report a draft, payable to the order of
the Supreme Recorder, for the amount so shown by the state-
ment, less only twenty-five cents of the excess of fifty cents
paid by each Subordinate Lodge on each assessment, which
amount he shall place in the Grand Lodge General Fund.
He shall also make report to the Supreme Recorder on the
15th day of each month, of all Subordinate Lodges wherein
the Beneficiary Certificates are held suspended under the
provisions of Section 8 of Beneficiary Article governing Sub-
Section 4. The Supreme Recorder shall upon receipt of
official notice of death, issue assessment notices to Grand
Lodges in like manner and form as Subordinate Lodges un-
der the jurisdiction of the Supreme Lodge. He shall ad-
just and pay losses under the Beneficiary Certificates issued
by Grand podges, in like manner as those issued by the
Supreme Lodge, and as provided for in Section ,
Beneficiary Article governing Subordinate Lodges. He shall
publish, on or before the 15th day of each month, a full
statement, by Lodges, of all Beneficiary Funds received from
each Grand Lodge, and forward to each Grand Recorder
sufficient number to send each Subordinate Lodge in his
jurisdiction one copy. The correctness of such statement to
be attested by the Supreme Lodge Finance Committee.
After long and continuous debate it was found that
a constitutional majority could not be obtained to the pas-
sage of the revised laws at this meeting and a resolution
was adopted referring the entire matter to the next meet-
ing of the Supreme Lodge arid directing that the proposed
laws be printed as an appendix to the proceedings and
sent to each subordinate lodge.
The main opposition to the reforms recommended
centered in the proposed amendments to the Beneficiary
articles. It savored too much of insurance methods
and was repugnant to those who thought fraternity should
be relied upon for correct accounting and operation with-
out the injection of "so much red tape," and, therefore,
the loose and unsystematic conduct of financial affairs,
outside of Pennsylvania was suffered to continue another
Special attention is called to the provision in Section
"5" of the Article governing Grand Lodges set apart
as Separate Beneficiary Jurisdictions, wherein it is pro-
vided that in case the membership in any such Juris-
diction should be reduced below two thousand, it again
became a part of the Supreme Beneficiary Jurisdiction.
Thus each separate state Jurisdiction was protected
against a possible disaster that would reduce the mem-
bership to a point where one assessment would not pro-
duce sufficient funds to meet a death claim.
The point desired to be emphasized is the recogni-
tion of the Unity of the Order and that in creating separ-
ate Beneficiary Jurisdictions it was not intended to des-
troy the interdependence of one section with another,
but that should conditions arise by which the financial
ability of any part was unable to protect the integrity of
the Order, the power was inherent in the Supreme Lodge
to provide adequate relief.
The law, however, was deficient in not explicitly pro-
viding for contingencies of disaster that might arise in
Jurisdictions having more than two thousand members
and which could not be met without aid from the order
at large. This defect was soon to be made apparent by
the financial difficulties that arose in the Supreme Lodge
Jurisdiction and that of the Separate Jurisdiction of
Tennessee caused by the yellow fever epidemic of
1878—79, and which will be more fully referred to here-
At this meeting the Anchor and Shield was adopted
as the distinctive emblem of the A. O. U, W.
The average membership for the year 1875 was 8,344
and the mortuary rate 11.02.
C. Shryock of Kentucky was elected Supreme Master
Workman; Edwin Elmore of Xew York, Supreme Re-
corder and Benjamin Davis of Indiana was re-elected
Shortly before this meeting the Supreme Recorder,
J. B. Steves, had died and W. H. Turner of Kentucky
had taken temporary charge of the office and I was ap-
pointed Supreme Recorder pro tern for the session, and
served on the Committee on Laws for the ensuing year.
The next meeting was to be held at Chicago, 111,
The year ending March 1, 1877 was the most prosper-
ous year yet enjoyed by the Order. Subordinate lodges,
under the immediate jurisdiction of the Supreme Lodge,
had been organized in Missouri, Tennessee, California,
Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan and in the Dominion of
Canada, Grand Lodges had been instituted in Missouri,
Wisconsin, Minnesota, Tennessee and Michigan. The
Supreme Recorder in noting the progress made, says, "It
has overstepped the bounds of the States and been planted
in Canada and efforts are being made to introduce it into
Massachusetts, New Jersey, Georgia, Texas, Oregon, Col-
orado and Kansas. I have had letters of inquiry from
all those states and have furnished the applications for
new lodges." He reports twenty-eight subordinate lodges
instituted in the Supreme Lodge Jurisdiction during the
The membership at the beginning of the year 1877
was 16,319, the average for the year was 13,128 and the
mortuary rate 8.15.
Special mention should be made of the splendid work
done by Supreme Deputy, O. J. Xoble. To him, as prev-
iously mentioned, belonged the honor of introducing the
Order in Illinois and in this the following year, in Wis-
consin and Minnesota. He was a man of middle age, at-
tractive personality, modest in demeanor, of sterling in-
tegrity and imbued with a love and enthusiasm for the
Order that generated a like spirit in those to whom he
presented its claims. As showing his capabilities as an
organizer and also as showing the ready acceptance with
which the Order was received wherever its claims were
presented, no better words can be used than those of
Brother Noble as they appear in his report relative to the
introduction of the Order in St. Paul, Minnesota.
He says :
"I instituted Hokah Lodge, No. 1, after which I struck
out for St. Paul, the capital of the State, where I arrived
on the 27th of October, 1877, completely worn down and feeble.
The prospects for success here were not very bright, from
the fact that the city was completely overrun with secret or-
ganizations; 1 looked over the city, and as I pondered over
the condition of things, as they appeared to my mind, I
seemed to gain courage from the words 'to the persevering
success is sure/ and as soon as practicable I presented the
object ot my mission and met with unparalleled response
l ; rom all parts of the city, and on the 11th of November, I
instituted Noble Lodge No. 2, and upon the petition for char-
ter were 105 names of first-class citizens. On the 18th,
seven days later, I instituted Franklin Lodge, No. 3, which
had seventy-eight petitioners for charter. * * * On
the 27th 1 instituted Banner Lodge, No. 4, which had one
hundred and eighty petitioners, and on the 29th I instituted
Concordia Lodge, No. 5 (German), which had eighty peti-
tioners. * * * On the 4th day of December, I insti-
tuted Advance Lodge, No. 6, in the City of Minneapolis, with
At this meeting should also be noted the introduction
of one who for the succeeding seventeen years and to the
time of his death, occupied a leading and commanding po-
sition in the Supreme Lodge ; Judge John Frizzell brought
to the Supreme Lodge and the Order, the benefit of a well
stored legal mind, wide experience as a prominent at-
torney in Nashville, Tennessee and Judge of the State
Court. He was also for many years the Grand Secretary
of Masons for the State of Tennessee. These qualifi-
cations admirably fitted him as legal advisor and counselor
in the construction and execution of the laws of the Or-
der. His genial personality and christian character at
once commanded the confidence, trust and friendship of
all with whom he came in contact. As a representative
from Tennessee he was at once appointed Chairman of
the important Committee on laws and supervision, upon
which committee he continued to serve without interrup-
tion until the time of his death with the exception of the
years he occupied the position of Supreme Master Work-
man and that of Past Supreme Master Workman. His
constructive work in moulding the laws of the Order
is found on nearly every page of the proceedings of the
Supreme Lodge up to the time of his death which
occurred November 3, 1894.
This meeting also marks the entrance to the councils
of the Supreme Lodge of Hon. S. S. Davis, Ex-Mayor
and banker of the city of Cincinnati, Ohio. His high
standing as a business man and banker at once forced rec-
ognition and he was elected Supreme Receiver which re-
sponsible position he continued to occupy each succeed-
ing year until 1884.
The business that practically absorbed the entire atten-
tion of this meeting was the consideration of the report
of the Special Committee on revision of the laws, laid over
from the last meeting. During the year these laws had
been before the Subordinate Lodges and had been fully
examined and the delegates came to the Supreme Lodge
well fortified to discuss what they considered either the
merits or demerits of the proposed changes.
Immediately after the reports of the officers were re-
ceived, the consideration of these laws was taken up in
the Committee of the Whole and after extended debate
and the introduction of a number of amendments, the
committee arose and reported to the Supreme Lodge, ask-
ing that a Special Committee be appointed to consider all
amendments proposed and report thereon to the body.
This Committee consisted of myself as chairman, Repre-
sentative Frizzell, of Tennessee, Myers of Pennsylvania,
Andrus of New York, Davis of Ohio and Past Supreme
Master Workman Walker and Supreme Master Work-
The reason for the explicit details given above,, was
that pending before the body was a proposition, introduced
by Judge Frizzell to change the entire system of the Order
by doing away with separate Beneficiary Jurisdictions and
forming a general Jurisdiction, similar to the Knights of
Honor, which at that time had come into existence and in
which Judge Frizzell held membership. On this Com-
mittee, therefore, in the main, rested the decision on this
important matter. It was a momentous question for the
Committee to decide, and in its solution no guide was
available. The older and more experienced members in
the order were wedded to the Separate Beneficiary sys-
tem under which such good results had thus far been at-
tained, but those who had more recently entered were in-
clined to follow the judgement of Judge Frizzell. Two
days and two nights were spent in the effort to arrive at
a harmonious conclusion and twice did the committee go
back to the Supreme Lodge for instructions before it was
finally determined to report in favor of continuing the
policy of Separate Beneficiary Jurisdictions.
SAMUEL B. MYERS
This question being settled, the revised laws as pro-
posed by the committee on revision of the previous year,
was adopted, including those applicable to the Beneficiary
Fund. Thus was the future policy of the Order fixed as
it has existed up to the present time.
Again was the proposition introduced to change the
assessment rate to that of a graded rate but it met with
no support, the committee reporting that we u do not (the
italics are those of the committee) deem it advisable at
this time to make any change in our present uniform as-
Among the proposed amendments to the laws sub-
mitted was one by Representative Schriner of Missouri,
proposing the raising of a Reserve Beneficiary Fund not
to exceed one million of dollars, to be applied to the pay-
ment of death claims in any Jurisdiction when the assess-
ments therein exceeded twenty-five in any one year. The
proposition received no support and met its oblivion in
the committee to which it was referred.
The various blank books, form? of reports, benefit
certificate and medical examiner's report, as in use in
Pennsylvania, were approved for use in the Supreme Jur-
The Grand Lodges of Kentucky, Xew York and Illin-
ois were set apart as Separate Beneficiary Jurisdictions,
each having the requisite two thousand members.
Samuel B. Myers, who had served as Grand Master
Workman of Pennsylvania in 1874 and who was one of
the Charter members of Franklin Lodge Xo. 3, was
elected Supreme Master Workman ; Henry N. Berry of
Iowa, Supreme Recorder and S. S. Davis of Ohio, Su-
preme Receiver. During this year I served on the Com-
mittee on Laws.
The Sixth annual meeting of the Supreme Lodge
was held at St. Louis, Mo., March, 1878. The past year
marked no diminution of interest nor sessation of onward
progress. The limits had been extended from that
previously occupied to the states of Georgia, Mississippi,
Kansas, Texas and Nebraska, and twenty-five lodges had
been organized in the Supreme Lodge Jurisdiction. The
membership had more than doubled during the year,
increasing from 16,319 January 1, 1877, to 35,886
January 1, 1878; the average for the year being 26.102
and the mortality rate 6.24 to the thousand. The amount
of death claims paid during the year 1877 was $308,-
The revised laws, putting in force practically a new
system in the conduct of the Beneficiary Fund, was
promulgated June 1, 1877 and while at first some dis-
satisfaction and criticism was manifested, yet in the main
the laws proved satisfactory, and before the end of the
year most of the opposition disappeared.
Speaking of the criticism against the Supreme Lodge
engendered by the radical changes in the laws, and
counseling that only such changes therein as are absolute-
ly necessary be made, Supreme Master Workman Myers
"I have observed that the members of this body have been
severely criticised for their action, and not only criticised
(which would be proper if fairly done,) but their motives
have even been impugned.
I wish to say for the body that I have never formed
the acquaintance of men who were more earnest to work
for the interests of those who had intrusted them, and the
Order at large, than the brethern I have met here. Con-
servative in every thing, as a body of this kind should be,
many of its members for years toiling in the interests of
the Order without reward or the hope thereof, building up
an Order unknown to the country and to the world, bring-
ing blessings and comfort to thousands of bereaved homes,
raising and encouraging the crushed and broken in heart,
going home from the sessions of the Supreme Lodge tired
and weary after days of toil, anxiety, and sleepless nights
in committee work, without even credit, (judging the lan-
guage of some critics) of being sincere.
I know there is, and always will be, an honest difference
of opinion with regard to the advisability of doing or not
doing certain things but I do feel and know, brethren, that
you have tried in the honesty of your hearts, and the con-
victions of your better judgment, to work for the best in-
terests of the Order, and that the laws adopted at the last
session of the Supreme Lodge are as near the requirements
of the Order, with the experience we have had in its work-
ing, as could be reasonably expected, is evidenced by the fact
that I have been called upon to render but few decisions of any
importance, indeed, it is remarkable, when we consider that
our Order is constantly being planted in new territory.
A law that requires but little of the interposition of the
Court of last resort is pretty nearly adapted to the purpose
for which it was made.
Under our laws the order has had a growth that is un-
precedented, many of its leading features are being copied
by other orders, and new ones formed upon a like basis, while
we are moving steadily forward in our good work.
I therefore recommend that you be careful about mak
ing radical changes for experiment's sake and against the
light of experience.
Hasty legislation is the bane of any government, or or-
ganization, governed by law." * * * *
Quoting further from this report, in regard to cer-
tain infraction of the laws that had occured, he says :
"I repeat that the Supreme Lodge is a necessity in con-
ducting the business of this Order, as much as the highest
judicial body, the court of last resort, or the law making
power is to any government or organization, and its decrees
in accordance with the law of the Order must be obeyed.
The moment you allow them to be openly and wantonly dis-
regarded, that moment has your decline as an Order com-
No more can this Order exist without the observance of
the lawful decrees of the Supreme Lodge, than could the
Nation, with every State disregarding those laws that are.
general and fundamental ; the Nation with all its power, its
glory, its honor and greatness, would fall to pieces and per-
haps sink into oblivion, and so would our Order.
There was a time in the history of this Order that I well
remember, if two or three members could have had their way
in disregarding the commands of the Supreme Lodge, there
would have been no Grand Lodge, with the grand member-
ship composing it today, in the State referred to, and no Su-
preme Lodge now in session." * * * *
The necessity for more explicit instructions to the
lodges relative to the general application of the laws,
especially as to the proper conduct of the beneficiary
department, than that given in the Constitution and Gen-
eral Laws, was apparent to those having the Order in
charge. This matter had been referred to the Com-
mittee on Laws, the year previous, and I had assumed
the duty of preparing a Digest, or more properly a
book, of instructions analyzing the laws and giving de-
tails as to the manner and form of lodge procedure,
duties of officers, application and use of the various
forms, etc. With the valuable assistance of Brother
Alfred Matthias, of whom mention has heretofore been
made, such a book was prepared and presented at -the
meeting of the Supreme Lodge in 1879 for its approval,
and was directed to be printed and sent to each subordi-
nate lodge for their instruction and guidance. This was
the first Digest in the Order, and was of great value
in rendering prompt and efficient conduct of the business
affairs and in producing uniform and harmonious work-
ings of the lodges.
At this meeting action was taken providing for the
setting apart as Separate Beneficiary Jurisdictions-, Ten-
nessee, Michigan, Minnesota, California, Indiana and
Dr. Wm. C. Richardson of Missouri, introduced a
resolution for the appointment of a board of three duly
qualified physicians, whose duty it should be to pass upon
all applications for beneficiary certificates and the medical
examiners report accompanying the application. This the
first step pointing to the appointment of a Supreme or
Grand Medical Supervisor, was not approved, and it
was not until 1882 that provisions were made for such
supervisory control in the Supreme and Grand Lodge
Again was the matter of a Reserve Fund presented
for consideration but it met with similar defeat as on
the former occasion.
A notable occurrence of this meeting was the presence
of Father Upchurch, who at this time was a resident
of Steelville, Mo. and had been invited to be present as
the honored guest of the Supreme Lodge. This was
the first meeting of the Supreme body at which he had
been present and the cordial manner of his reception
seemed at once to efface the regrets of the past and he
entered in happy accord with the Order from this time
But little legislation occurred at this meeting of es-
sential interest to be noted herein. The laws and the
progress of the order was in satisfactory condition and
the utmost harmony and good feeling prevailed through-
out the entire limits of the Society.
I was elected Supreme Master Workman, and Su-
preme Recorder Berry and Supreme Receiver Davis were
le-elected for the coming year.
In assuming the duties of Supreme Master Workman,
March 1878, I little anticipated the momentous events
that were to occur during my administration. The Or-
der at this time was in a most flourishing condition,
perfect harmony existed throughout its entire extent
and no cloud of impending disaster obscured the clear
sky of its prosperity. However, before the end of the
year, a fearful epidemic of yellow fever broke out and
in its most virulent form spreading over the Mississippi
Valley from Memphis to the Gulf. The sanitary condi-
tions of this section, which were bad before the war,
were much worse thereafter, and intensified the difficulty
of contending against the fearful ravages of the disease. .
Only those who came into personal contact with the
blighting influence of this disease can be let into a
realization of the horror that paralyzed this section at
that time. Generous contributions of money and food
poured forth from every section of the country and from
abroad, but the difficulty was to supply physicians and
nurses to attend the sick. Every physician and nurse
felt that to enter the stricken territory meant putting
their lives in extreme peril. Further than this, at no
previous time had the virulence of this disease been so
manifest and medical aid was almost helpless to cope
with it ravages.
At this time the Grand Lodge of Tennessee had been
set apart as a Separate Beneficiary Jurisdiction and had
several prosperous lodges in the stricken territory. Its
membership was only a little over two thousand, and the
deaths from yellow T fever were forty-seven y entailing a
liability of ninety-four thousand dollars, an amount far
beyond the ability of the membership to pay.
Likewise the Supreme Lodge Jurisdiction had or-
ganized lodges in Mississippi and Arkansas a number
of which had suffered and twenty-nine deaths had oc-
curred from this dreaded disease, entailing a loss of
fifty-eight thousand dollars, and like Tennessee, the mem-
bership was only slightly in excess of two thousand and
the financial burden too great to be met without help.
Unfortunately with the increase of the Order in its,
separate parts there had grown up a spirit of inde-
pendence that tended to the repudiation of obligations
other than such as were compassed within the limits of
each respective Separate Jurisdiction, and no law existed!
by which the Supreme Lodge could legally collect either
from the Grand Lodges or Subordinate Lodges assess-
ments to pay death claims belonging outside their own ter-
ritorial limits. That a Jurisdiction with two thousand
members and on the highway of prosperity should be in-
volved in difficulty so as not to be able to meet its liabil-
ities, was a contingency so remote that no thought had
been given to it or provision made therefor. The yellow
fever scourge therefore, demonstrated a weakness in the
system of Separate Jurisdictions and called for the enact-
ment of laws by which the whole Order could be brought
into requisition to help any part that was unable to meet
its obligations and preserve the credit and good name of
To meet the exigency in Tennessee and the Supreme
Lodge Jurisdiction, urgent appeals had been issued by me,
as Supreme Master Workman, to the Order-at-large and
while the responses at first were prompt and liberal, yet
as the scourge continued, and the death claims increased,
it was soon apparent that some added force must be
applied to meet the exigency. To this end a meeting of
all the Grand Master Workmen and Grand Recorders of
the different jurisdictions was called, to meet in Chi-
cago, 111. to consider what further steps could be taken
to meet the pressing necessities of the situation. The
Convention recognized the fact that it had no authority
to levy assessments to meet the emergency but it unan-
imously agreed upon a call upon each member of the
order for the amount of two dollars and to bring the
case directly to the attention of each brother recom-
mended the plan of making the appeal in the form of
a special call, in the manner of an assessment, and this
appeal was signed by each representative present. When
this appeal was issued, objection was made in some parts
of the Order claiming that it was a usurpation of power
upon the part of the executive officers and a violation
of the laws of the Order to endeavor to collect assess-
ments to pay death claims occurring outside of the limits
of their own Jurisdiction. However, in most cases the
contributions were made, and in time, 'the losses were
paid and the two jurisdictions that had suffered so
severely were preserved in their integrity.
These details have been given to emphasize the ob-
ject lesson that was thus presented to the membership
to convince them of the necessity of the adoption of such
laws as would provide protection for each Separate Bene-
ficiary Jurisdiction against a contingency that for a
time might burden it with liabilities beyond its power
to meet and preserve its credit and prosperity. This
seemed to be the missing link in the system to secure its
stability and render it permanent for the future.
Previous to the meeting of the executive officers in
Chicago, I had perpared and had printed a proposed "Re-
lief Law" the purpose of which was to vest in the Su-
preme Lodge the power to collect from the Order-at-
large, a relief fund, that at all times would be available
to meet any contingency that might arise in any Juris-
diction, whereby, it was unable promptly to meet its lia-
bilities and preserve its credit. The proposed law was
unanimously endorsed by those present, with the recom-
mendation that it be presented to the next meeting of the
Supreme Lodge for its consideration.
In my report to the Supreme Lodge, March 1879, I
urged as follows, the necessity of action on this important
matter, and presented the proposed "Relief Law" as en-
dorsed by the convention :
OUR BENEFICIARY SYSTEM.
The difficulties met by the Grand Lodge of Ohio, which
made it necessary for it to abandon its position as a separ-
ate beneficiary jurisdictions; the struggles which other separate
jurisdictions have had to maintain themselves ; the effect of the
yellow fever epidemic on the Supreme Lodge jurisdiction and
that of Tennessee, and other matters, have called the atten-
tion of the Order to the subject of the relation of the sev-
eral parts of our Order to the whole, and caused much dis-
cussion. We have reached a period in the history of the
Order in which this whole subject needs to be carefully and
Our benericiary laws as they stand at present, are the re-
sult of experience and careful observation, and in all the de-
tails of their workings have proven to be thoroughly adapted
to their purpose. I consider our system more full, perfect and
reliable than that of any other organization, and one which
needs little or no amendment. The feature of separate bene-
ficiary jurisdictions, it is well known, I am a firm advocate
of; and I would not in any way interfere with any of the
legitimate rights now enjoyed by them under the law as it
exists. But the questions arise: Is every part of the Order
as fully protected as it might be? and may not an additional
feature be devised which will add to the security of all with-
out interference with the just rights of any?
The protection which our Order gives to the families of
our members is that of organized charity. It does not depend
upon the result of special appeals, but is regulated by a sys-
tem of laws to which the assent of all has been given. Ought
not this principle to be extended so as to afford adequate re-
lief to any jurisdiction of the Order which may be over-
whelmed by an epidemic or other disaster to which all are
liable? As the law now stands, a jurisdiction which has been
set apart, if it suffers disaster of any kind so as to reduce its
membership below two thousand and be unable to meet its
obligations, falls back into the beneficiary jurisdiction of the
Supreme Lodge. If great disasters occur, how is the Supreme
Lodge jurisdiction to carry this weight? The Supreme Lodge,
aside from its character as the highest legislative body of the
Order, has a distinct character as a beneficiary jurisdiction
for Subordinate Lodges not belonging to a Grand Lodge set
apart as a separate beneficiary jurisdiction. The member-
ship of the Supreme Lodge beneficiary jurisdiction is less,
and probably always will be less, than that of many Grand
Lodges which are set apart. Why should this membership
bear the weight of all the misfortunes which may befall
separate jurisdictions, and which have to surrender their
separate rights? Are they, and suffering Grand Lodges, to
depend upon appeals for voluntary contributions, as the only
means of relief in case of distress?
It seems to me that the interests of the Order require
that some plan be devised which, without interfering with
the just rights guaranteed by our present laws, will bring
assistance from the whole Order to the aid of any suffering
part. The requirements of the present emergency will be
met by the contributions which have been, or will yet be
made in response to the appeals issued; but in view of the
dissatisfaction and discord which the measures taken to pro-
duce this result have caused, would it not be wise to en-
deavor to perfect a plan by which the relief which may be
required at any time in the future may be obtained in a
systematic manner, upon a fixed plan settled upon before the
emergency arises? The Officers of the Order, who met at Chi-
cago, recommended a plan for this purpose, which, at their
request, I submit to your consideration. I trust you will give
a careful consideration to this important subject in all its
bearing. Time and opportunity should be given to the whole
Order to consider and decide upon any plan which your judg-
ment may approve, before it is finally acted upon; and I would
recommend that such plan, if perfected at this session, should
be sent to all Grand Lodges for their examination, and not en-
acted as a law without the approval of at least a majority of
After long and earnest consideration of the subject
matter, the Supreme Lodge formulated a "Relief Law/'
similar in purpose to that recommended by the convention
of Executive Officers but varying somewhat in detail of
administration and directed that it be printed and promul-
gated to the order with a favorable recommendation, to
be finally acted upon at the next meeting of the Supreme
During the year 1878-79 rapid progress had been
made and seventeen Grand Lodges were represented in
the seventh meeting of the Supreme Lodge, at Nash-
ville, Tenn., March 1879. Subordinate lodges had been
instituted in the additional states of Massachusetts, New
Hampsire, Colorado, Alabama, Arkansas, Oregon and
Washington Territory. Four additional lodges had
been organized in Ontario, Canada.
The membership January 1, 1879 was 62,493, a net
increase for the year of 26,607, the largest increase in
any one year ever made by the Order. The average
membership for the year was 49.184, the mortality rate
6.64 and the amount paid on death claims for the year
Again at this meeting was the subject of graded as-
sessments brought up, but like former efforts it failed
to receive any considerable endorsement upon the part
of the representatives.
The operation of the beneficiary department under
the revised laws adopted the previous year, had proven
most satisfactory and little change was found to be de-
Hon. John Frizzell was elected Supreme Master
Workman for the ensuing year, and I was elected Su-
preme Recorder, Hon. S. S. Davis being re-elected Su-
The next meeting was to be held in Boston, Mass.
The Supreme Lodge convened in its eighth annual
meeting in Boston, Mass. March 16, 1880. Twenty
Grand Lodges were represented. The past year had
been one of continued prosperity, and its limits had been
extended to most of the States and Territories from the
Atlantic to the Pacific and from Canada to the Gulf of
Mexico. The membership on January 1, 1880 num-
bered 79,248, a net increase for the year 1879 °f I 6,755,
the average being 69.877 and the mortality rate 7.51.
The amount paid on death claims for the year 1870 was
The Order was extremely fortunate in having had
as its executive head during this year, a man of the ad-
mirable qualifications to meet the exigences of condi-
tions as possessed by Judge Frizzell. Under the di-
rection of the last Supreme Lodge, each Grand Lodge
was called upon to pay its quota of the amount necessary
to liquidate the yellow fever losses, and the penalty at-
tached in case of noncompliance was suspension. This
with the additional proposed amendment to the laws,
to enact a permanent Relief Law by which each juris-
diction would be secured from a burden greater than it
could bear, and still retain its growth and prosperity,
caused much agitation throughout the Order and in a
few cases an opon revolt. It, therefore, took a firm but
conciliatory spirit like that possessed by Judge Frizzell
to cope with these unfortunate conditions. This was
the second crucial test the Order was called on to pass
through and upon its solution rested, in a great measure,
not only its prosperity but possibly its perpetuity.
Supreme Master Workman Frizzell in promulgating
the action of the Supreme Lodge in directing the issu-
ance of assessments to prpvide payment of the yellow
fever claims, and the proposed permanent relief law is-
sued a circular letter from which the following extracts
are taken :
"Circular Letter, — To the Members of the A. O. U. W. : Ap-
preciating the interest felt in the action of the Supreme
Lodge, at its late meeting, making an assessment on the
Order at large, to meet yellow fever losses, the following
points are presented for your consideration in this con-
1. Article VI., Constitution of the Supreme Lodge pro-
vides, that "when a Grand Lodge shall have under its jur-
isdiction two thousand Master Workman degree members,
in good standing, such Grand Lodge may petition the Su-
preme Lodge to be set apart as a separate beneficial juris-
diction, with power to collect and disburse, within itself, the
Beneficiary Fund, subject to and in accordance with the gen-
eral laws, rules and regulations of the Supreme Lodge."
The following conditions are also specified in said Article:
1. Such Grand Lodge shall be responsible for all assessments
made on deaths occurring before separation; all lossses oc-
curring before that time to be paid by the Supreme Lodge.
2. Such Grand Lodge not to be entitled to any surplus in
the Beneficiary Fund of the Supreme Lodge after paying
losses occurring before the separation. 3. Such Grand Lodge,
when so set apart, shall manage, within itself, the beneficiary
department, assessing, collecting, and disbursing the Bene-
ficiary Fund in accordance with, and governed by, the gen-
eral laws and usages prescribed by the Supreme Lodge, and
no alteration of such laws shall be made except by the Su-
preme Lodge. 4. Requiring certain reports to be made to the
Supreme Lodge. 5. When the membership under the juris-
diction of the such Grand Lodge shall fall below two thousand,
it shall, immediately, come under the control of the Su-
It will thus be seen that these provisions do not contem-
plate independent jurisdictions but to avoid the risk attend-
ing the accumulation of so large a sum of money as would
result if all assessments were paid to the same officer, and in
order that the more healthful States and communities may,
as far as possible, enjoy this advantage, and those living
in less favorable localities may bear their own burdens, as
far as practicable, separate beneficial jurisdictions are pro-
vided for; that is, jurisdictions "set apart from a number
for a particular service." This arrangement may be likened
to the government of the United States. The different State
governments are separate and distinct, for certain purposes,
and possess certain powers, but to the General Government
is reserved the power, and it exercises the right to pre-
scribe laws for the preservation of the national existence,
and for the protection of the rights of all the people and of
every individual citizen.
The provisions contained in Article VI, above mentioned,
must be regarded as wise and salutary. When properly un-
derstood, they give to our Order largely the advantage over
similar institutions; for, while the Supreme Lodge reserves
the right to do that which may be necessary to protect and
defend the whole Order, and every individual member, from
casualties which may occur involving the very existence of
the Order in some locality, and destroying the benefit to
which the individual is entitled, there are preserved all the
advantages which ought to result to particular localities from
separate action, so that, under ordinary circumstances, each
jurisdiction is secured in the advantage accruing from such
The separate beneficial jurisdictions have power to col-
lect and disburse, and to manage, within themselves, the
Beneficiary Fund, but this can only be done, subject to and in
accordance with the general laws, rules and regulations of the
Supreme Lodge, or, as expressed in another place, in accord-
ance with, and governed by, the general laws and usages
prescribed by the Supreme Lodge.
The power to prescribe rules and regulations and to pass
general laws, binding these separate jurisdictions as well as
the whole Order, is thus reserved to the Supreme Lodge in
plain and unmistakable language.
The Supreme Lodge may, from time to time pass such
laws and prescribe such rules and regulations as it may deem
proper and necessary for the welfare of the Order, and may
alter, amend, or abrogate^ the same. (See also Article XI,
Constitution of Supreme Lodge.)
The action of the Supreme Lodge is binding upon the
whole Order, because it is the court of last resort — there be-
ing no power in the Order authorized to review or overrule
its judgments and acts.
The views here presented may not accord with that en-
tertained by some of the brethren, but it is, nevertheless,
the clear provisions of our laws. It may not be in harmony
with the teachings, heretofore, of some of the officers of the
Supreme Lodge, but it is, beyond question, not only in ac-
cordance with the spirit, but the very letter, of our Consti-
The Supreme Lodge, for the first time, took action upon
this subject at its late meeting in Nashville, and whatever
may have been thought in regard thereto by others hereto-
fore, the action taken is an unequivocal expression on the
part of the Supreme Lodge. This expression, too, comes
from a body three-fourths of the votes of which were from
separate jurisdictions. It may be said also that the rights
of separate jurisdictions will be jealously watched and pro-
tected by the Supreme Lodge. Separate jurisdictions will
always, so far as can now be seen, have an overwhelming
preponderance of power in the Supreme Lodge.
This reservation of power in the Supreme Lodge is also
shown by the fact that provision is made when a separate
jurisdiction falls below two thousand members, it shall at
once come under the control of the Supreme Lodge, which,
as the head of the order, agrees that every member who
holds out faithful shall be secured in the protection promised.
Should the Supreme Lodge jurisdiction, that is, the member-
ship under the immediate jurisdiction of the Supreme Lodge,
fall below two thousand, it must of necessity, look to the Or-
der at large for the payment of its death losses and the pro-
tection of its members. * * * *
3. The power of the Supreme Lodge to make special
assessments upon the whole order, is so clearly set forth,
also, in other portions of the Constitution, that no doubt
need be entertained by those who will take the trouble to
In Section 1, Article IV., it is declared that the Supreme
Lodge, when properly convened, "has original and exclusive
jurisdiction over all subjects pertaining to the welfare of the
Order;" and that "under these restrictions" — that is to say,
"when convened agreeably to the provisions of this Constitu-
tion" — it may "do all things right and proper for the pro-
motion of the honor, dignity, and welfare of the Order."
Stronger and more specific language could hardly be used.
The Supreme Lodge may do any and everything which it
may deem right and proper for the promotion of the honor,
dignity, and welfare of the Order. It is the sole judge of
what the honor, dignity, and welfare of the Order may re-
quire, and it may do that which in its opinion, is thus re-
quired. There is no power to reverse its action. Its decisions
are final and conclusive. No authority, but itself, can recon-
sider or undo what it has done. That this is so, seems so
plain that argument is unnecessary. And this is, in the very
nature of our institution, a necessity. The organization must
have a head, a controlling power, a chief executive and legis-
lative body, whose acts ana decisions are final and conclusive,
otherwise conflicts and discords innumerable would result,
and our form of government be mere child's play, indeed, a
mockery, affording no protection whatever to its mem-
bers. * * * *
A number of formulated proposals for a permanent
Relief Fund were presented to the Supreme Lodge at
this meeting, one by Supreme Master Workman Frizzell,
following closely that recommended by the Supreme
Lodge at its last meeting and which received the en-
dorsement of the committee to which this matter had
After several days of earnest and thoughtful consid-
eration, and minor amendments, a Relief Fund law was
enacted, the purpose of which is enunciated in the first
Section thereof as follows :
Applicable to the whole Order, providing relief to over-
Section 1. To protect each beneficiary jurisdiction of the
Order from exigencies which may arise, increasing its death
rate to an extent which would make assessments for a time
oppressive upon its membership, and beyond the maximum
fixed by this article for such jurisdiction; to strengthen and
sustain the Order, and enable it to meet every emergency
by giving the assistance of the whole to any part suffering
from an epidemic or other calamity, a relief Fund shall be
raised, managed, and disbursed as provided in this Article."
The main points in the law were : i. The fund to con-
sist of one dollar for each member of the Order. 2.
Vesting in a Relief Board consisting of the Supreme
Master Workman, Supreme Recorder, Supreme Re-
ceiver and the Chairman of the Supreme Lodge Finance
Committee and Supreme Lodge Committee on Laws and
Supervision, power to superintend in accordance with
and governed by the rules and regulations of the Su-
preme Lodge, the collection, management and disburse-
ment of the Relief Fund. 3. A maximum annual rate
of assessment was established for each jurisdiction of
the Order, and relief was to be extended whenever such
maximum number of assessments had been collected
and applied and there still remained death claims un-
provided for. 4. Whenever the fund became depleted
by reason of relief extended, it was to be replenished by
assessments. 5. Assessments for the Relief Fund were
to be made same as assessments for the Beneficiary
Fund and all laws relative to suspensions, etc. applied
with equal force in one case as in the other. 6. A jur-
isdiction receiving relief was required to continue to col-
lect its full maximum of assessments each succeeding
year for a term of three years and if a surplus existed
after providing for its own death claims, it was to pay
such surplus to the Relief Fund to the amount of the
relief extended, otherwise the debt was to be cancelled
at the end of the three years period.
The maximum rate as fixed in this law was based
upon statistics of mortality gathered from the experience
of the Odd Fellows organization and the L'nited States
Census of 1870.
In succeeding years the Supreme Lodge made
various changes in these maximum rates and otherwise
changed the laws as to collecting and disbursing a relief
fund but for a period of over twenty-five years and until
1906 a system of relief was continued until more than
thirteen million dollars was paid to assist jurisdictions
that became overburdened.
The interest of the Supreme Lodge at this meeting
centered mainly in the consideration and final adoption
of the Relief Law and no other change in the Laws,
necessary to be noted here, were made.
The policy of the Order as well as its system of
operation had at this period settled into a condition of
apparent permanency. The Relief Law had provided
the missing link in the system and centralized in the
Supreme Lodge the power to preserve each separate part
in its integrity, thus protecting the credit and good name
of the Order everywhere.
At this meeting was first introduced one who in the
future history of the A. O. U. W. was to assume
prominence as a leader surpassed by no other in the
councils of that society and whose ability and efforts in
the broader field of promoting the interests of co-opera-
tive mutual protection as represented by the Fraternal
Beneficiary Societies has received general recognition.
We refer to Rev. W. Warne Wilson of Detroit, Mich, of
whom further reference will be made hereafter.
Roderick Rose of Iowa was elected Supreme Master
Workman for the ensuing year and M. W. Sackett and
S. S. Davis re-elected to the respective offices of Su-
preme Recorder and Supreme Receiver.
It was the original intention of the writer of this
W. WARNE WILSON
short history to extend the same covering only the period
of time in which the Ancient Order of United Workmen
was the sole occupant of the field, and to trace in a limit-
ed measure, the extension of its influence in the or-
ganization of other Societies of like character but in
reaching this point, it was apparent that to end the his-
tory of the A. O. U. W. before the adoption of the Re-
lief Law would convey a wrong impression of the unity
of the Order, to those who were not conversant with its
system of operation as finally perfected in 1880, and
therefore it was continued to that date.
The subsequent history of the A. O. U. W. for thir-
ty-four years, to the present time, is left to be written by
some one whose ability transcends that of the present
writer. The published records of the Supreme Lodge
from this time forward are very full and complete, in
which are carefully noted the yearly progress made in
each of its separate departments, reaching the zenith of
its numerical strength in 1902 with a membership of
four hundred and fifty-one thousand, five hundred and
Like practically all other Fraternal Beneficiary Soci-
eties the A. O. U. W. has had to pass through the
crucial test of readjustment of rates and while it has met
with a diminution in membership, still it has retained its
vitality in most of its Jurisdictions which are now on a
solvent basis with provisions for ample reserves to secure
their perpetuity. Its co-operative benefactions up to the
present have aggregated over Two Hundred and Fifty
Millions Dollars and more than One Hundred and Sev-
enty-five Thousand deceased brothers' widows and or-
phans have been protected and life's burdens made easier
by its ministrations. This has been a noble work and
reflects lasting credit upon the society that first inaug-
urated the movement as well as upon those Pioneer Fath-
ers who planted a seed the vital force of which they but
It may be of interest to those who peruse these pages
to have some further knowledge of the personal history
of those who have been specially mentioned as promi-
nent in the early years of the history of the A. O. U. W.
John Jordan Upchurch died at his home in the vil-
lage of Steelville, Missouri, January 18, 1887, at the age
of sixty-six years.
At the meeting of the Supreme Lodge, A. O. U. W.,
June, 1887, the Supreme Master Workman was directed
to select a person to write a biographical sketch of
Father Upchurch, to be presented at the memorial ser-
vices of that body the following year. William H.
James, of Philadelphia, a Past Grand Master Workman
of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, was appointed to
this service. After careful research he gathered the
following facts as to the life of Brother Upchurch:
J. J. Upchurch was born in Franklin County, in the State of
North Carolina, March 26, 1820. When four and a half years
old, his father, Ambrose Upchurch, was murdered, and the
farm upon which they lived was taken from the family by de-
signing men, and the widow was compelled to support herself
and her four children by resorting to the needle. When nino
years of age he removed to the home of his paternal grand-
father, where he received such schooling as the scant educa-
tional facilities of the neighborhood afforded, having to go
three miles to and from school. At fourteen he was employed
as a boy in a country store. In 1836 he was laboring upon the
farm which his paternal grandfather had purchased for his
mother. In 1837 he commenced learning the trade of mill-
wright, but the heavy work and his poor health compelled him
to relinquish that and became an apprentice to the carpenter
trade, continuing in it, however, but a short time, when he be-
came a clerk in a store.
On June 1, 1841, he was married to Miss Angelina Green, a
niece of John Zeigenfuss, of Bethlehem, Pa., who was at that
time a contractor on the Raleigh and Gaston Railroad. With
Mr. Zeigenfuss he opened a hotel in Raleigh, N. C. In 1842 he
and Mr. Zeigenfuss joined the Washingtonian Society, and
then conducted their hotel on temperance principles; the first
of the kind he alleges, south of Mason & Dixon's line. In 1844
the hotel was closed for want of patronage, and Upchurch ac-
cepted a position as assistant depot agent in the freight de-
partment of the Raleigh and Gaston Railroad, and for awhile,
in 1844 and 1845, he was an engineer on a locomotive of a
passenger train of that road.
In December, 1845, he endeavored to obtain employment in
Charleston, S. C, but was sadly disappointed. For awhile he
traveled through South Carolina and Georgia, giving lessons in
horse-training and taming, trading and selling horses, until
October, 1846, when, with his wife and child, he removed to
In February of 1847 Upchurch secured the position of
superintendent of a large flouring and saw-mill at Lock Haven,
Pa. After that he worked in Harrisburg and Reading, and
finally obtained a position in the shops of the Philadelphia
and Reading Railroad, which he held for two years.
In 1849, he was employed by the Catasauqua Iron Works
in Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, and afterwards by the Mine
Hill and Schuylkill Haven Railroad Company. In 1851 he was
appointed foreman, and in 1852 promoted to that of master
mechanic, a position he held for thirteen years.
In 1864 he was offered the position of superintendent of an
oil company, and removed to Petroleum Center, Venango
The operation in oil proved unsuccessful, and in February,
1866, he was tendered the position of master mechanic of the
Alabama and Florida Railroad, located at Montgomery, Ala.
He remained there until November of that year, when, be-
coming sick and disheartened, he returned north again and
was employed a few weeks at the Baldwin Locomotive Works
at Philadelphia, and then in April, 1867, removed to Altoona,
where he was engaged in the shops of the Pennsylvania Rail-
In April of 1868 he removed to Meadville, Pa., where he ob-
tained employment in the shops of the Atlantic and Great
Western Railroad Company. In addition to his daily toils, he
here taught machine drawing in the evenings.
In the fall of 1869 he was placed in charge of the shops of
that company at Leavittsburgh, Ohio, and remained there until
the fall of 1872, when the shops were closed, and he again
removed to Meadville, Pa.
In March of 1873 he was appointed master mechanic of the
St. Louis, Salem and Little Rock Railroad, and placed in
charge of the shops at Steelville, Mo.
This position he held until 1875, when he resigned, and for
nine months kept a store in Steelville, and was then appointed
superintendent of the Cuba Planing Mill Company, and re-
moved to Cuba, Mo. He remained there but a short time, when
he removed to East St. Louis, and took charge of the round-
house of the Cairo and St. Louis Railroad.
His failing health compelled him to relinquish all em-
ployment for a while, and in 1877 he rented a farm and tried
that occupation for a year.
In 1879 he was given the position of superintending the pile
drivers on the bridge work of the St. Louis and Council Bluffs
Railroad until the work was completed, when in 1880 he was
employed in the shops at Moberly, Mo.
From thence he removed to Oil City, Pa., where he obtained
a situation in the shops of the Oil Well Supply Company. He
remained but a short time, when he removed to Franklin, Pa.,
and was employed in Emery's machine shops, but dullness of
business discouraged him, and he removed again to Sedalia,
Mo., and obtained work in the shops of the Missouri Pacific
His failing health again compelled him to relinquish work
in the fall of that year.
In 1881 he removed again to Steelville, Mo., and opened an
undertaker's office and lumber yard.
In 1883 he purchased an interest in a store and stock of
general merchandise, which was carried on for eighteen
months, when he sold out.
In 1885 he purchased a patent right in a new harrow, and
in connection with the business of dealing in agricultural im-
plements and acting as undertaker, he commenced manufac-
turing harrows, and continued in this business until his
After a short illness he died, January 18, 1887, and was
buried in Bellefontaine Cemetery, St. Louis, by the loving
hands of the brethren of the Grand Lodge Jurisdiction of Mis-
souri, with all the impressive ceremonies due to him who had
won the right of such a tribute from those who had been bene-
fited by his genius and labors. He left surviving him his faith-
ful life companion and five children — all boys. Fifteen chil-
dren — eleven boys and four girls — had been born to Brother
Upchurch. At the time of his death he was a member in good
standing in Franklin Lodge, No. 3, of the Jurisdiction of Penn-
These are the simple facts of a life of over forty years of
thought and toil. They mark a man of many traits of char-
acter not belonging to the successful business man. By them
we learn that the founder of the A. O. U. W. could never aspire
to the position of a money magnate. They exhibit Upchurch
more as a man whose hands evinced their own cunning, while
the mind was busy on what a steadier plodder and home-stayer
would call dreams and vagaries. Yet we find in the charac-
teristics of Upchurch the man of warm affections, conscien-
tious integrity, retiring modesty, and only self-asserting when
to do so was to uphold principles of which he was a part or
the care of which had been placed upon him by others.
The circumstance that brings the name of Upchurch so
prominently before our Order — in fact, before the whole coun-
try — and which makes it immortal, is the institution of the
A. O. U. W., the pioneer Order of its kind, and still the larg-
The biography of Upchurch cannot be written without
writing that of the A. O. U. W. The biography of one is that
of the other. They are one, co-extensive and equal.
After reviewing in short detail the progress of the
Order from its inception to the time of the death of Up-
church, the report closes with the following tribute to the
memory of the founder of the Order.
Upon the extinction of the Upchurch wing of the Order, by
its absorption in the united body, the active participation of
Upchurch in the affairs of the Order may be said to have prac-
tically ceased, and we no longer find him taking an active part
either in the control of the Order or in shaping its legislation.
The consolidated Grand Lodge of the united Order did not rep-
resent the ideal Grand Lodge of Upchurch.
The primary motive in the Order was not the ideal motive
which he had so fondly hoped and labored to promote. That
which may be considered incidental to the organization had to
a great extent absorbed the other objects, and Upchurch saw,
with sorrow, his ideal of a union of capital and labor for
mutual advantage placed in the background.
When the Supreme Lodge met in Pittsburgh in 1874, the
platform of the objects of the Order was materially changed,
and the beneficiary idea was given all prominence. The secret
work of the Order was also subjected to a complete change and
a new form of initiation substituted, and new lectures inserted.
So great were the changes that had been wrought, that he
felt the old landmarks were completely obliterated, and he
could hardly recognize his handiwork, or that the Order was
the child of his earnest thought and labor. He even ques-
tioned whether it would be right to hang his photograph in a
lodge of the A. O. U. W. as its founder. For many years he
would not even accept the beneficiary certificate, but allowed
it to remain in the hands of the Grand Recorder of Penn-
But when Upchurch planted this Order he planted two
seeds side by side.
The one he hoped would grow up into the strong, hearty
stalwart tree, while the other would be its companion and
supporter. They sprang up and grew together, but the one for
which his fondest hopes went out became dwarfed and stunted,
while the other grew in after years to be the great banyan
tree, spreading its branches and dropping here and there a
tendril, which, taking root, became another tree, separate and
independent in its life purpose, yet all joined together, under
whose thick foliage and umbrageous shade an army has en-
camped. What though the main trunk, in giving life and
succor, may have sapped and impaired its vitality, shall not
the whole tree, as one enduring mass, remain for ages and
steadfastly resist the fiercest storms of adversity and the
thunders of treachery?
Having removed from the abode of the lodges he had estab-
lished, and the Order he had founded, yet too small to attract
national attention, and occupied with the trials and struggles
of his business life, he appears to have been left alone in a
far-away land, and to have become in a measure indifferent
to the scenes and struggles of his efforts to establish the
great dream and hope of his life.
Like some abandoned officer of a great and richly-freighted
vessel, he stood on the lonely shore of his stranding, while the
refluent waves and disporting winds drifted the ship of home
and his fondest hopes out to the declining horizon of the wav-
Hull and masts are hidden behind the great decline of the
rounded surface, and his straining eyes no longer saw the flag
at the topmost peak of the highest mast. He sent out signals
beseeching them to return, but received no response. He looked
about to rebuild a vessel with which to again breast the ocean
of public opinion. He still felt that he could yet establish what
he had intended to build when he constructed his first vessel.
But he had laid a longer keel and affixed broader ribs and
braces than had entered into his plans. He may be said to
have well nigh abandoned all hope after the last vestige of
his gallant ship had been lost to sight. But what is that he
saw far out on the ocean?
It was the signal from faithful servitors on his own ship.
Far over the rolling waves they cast out the golden chain of
brotherhood links, to lead back and hold the venerated builder
and freighter of the gallant ship. Its white sails appeared in
the far-off distance, angry waves of opposition and calumny
roared and rolled about her, but she gallantly rode them down,
and again approached the shore where the old captain had
been stranded, until all dangers past, she again received him
on her decks amidst huzzas of gladness and greetings of
So we see him in his isolation, while the new men who suc-
ceeded him broadened and deepened the foundations and raised
higher the noble structure he had begun. Away from the con-
tact with the work they were doing, not familiar with the rea-
sons for the changes they were making, for awhile, even out-
side the privileges of his own brotherhood, he despaired of his
own humane thoughts and hopes being fulfilled, and even
thought of beginning anew the work he believed his followers
The world of his every-day life was so narrow, he had
thought the great principles of protection, founded on a life of
usefulness and charity, would only be successful when applied
to the lives of those he best knew. Unconsciously he had
applied living and profound principles to a new direction, and
could not understand that these fitted the lives of all mankind
who acknowledged the great laws of labor and its rewards.
During the five years which succeeded his severance from
the legislative and executive life of the Order, great changes
in all its machinery had been made. No new principle had
been added to it. No vital or essential element had been
taken away from it, but he had ceased to know it as he had
One of the most pathetic of all the incidents of this period
is his attempt to enter a lodge of the A. O. U. W. in St. Louis.
It had been organized under the new changes, and none had
knowledge of the old work. He knocked and was not ad-
mitted. His efforts to prove himself but brought suspicion upon
him, and he sadly turned away from a fraternal home which
owed its very existence to his brain and his labor. In a city,
which afterwards so honored him living, and so tenderly laid
him within their beautiful mural home, with draped plumes
and sombre woe, when dead, but a few short years before, an
unknown stranger, he had been turned away from the door
of a lodge of the Order he had founded.
The meeting of the Supreme Lodge in that city in 1878 was
the return of the ship to the shore on which the old builder
and captain laid stranded. To this meeting he was heartily
welcomed. The place of honor was accorded to him. He
there heard the new changes discussed and their great objects
explained. Then his mind was opened, and he saw with that
clear and hopeful sense which conceived of the great scheme
for humanity, and grasped the fact that what was thought to
be an abandonment of his first central ideas was only giving
them the full scope and intent their real purport required.
From this time he was again the wise counselor and vener-
ated founder. While not seeking active service in any depart-
ment, he was ever welcome to all the council boards. His great
heart warmed to youthful ardor at the tenth anniversary of
the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania. He was made the perma-
nent sitting Past Supreme Master Workman, and was at each
meeting of the Supreme Lodge.
The open-handed, large-hearted brethren of the golden coast
conveyed him across the continent, where the warmth of his
reception exceeded the sunlight and geniality of the favored
land of the Pacific. The plaudits of her noble men, the smiles
and hospitality of her beautiful women were showered upon
this man whose work had saved so many homes from the
blacker desolation of destitution when death had blasted them
and brought widowhood and orphanage. From the peaks of
the Rocky Mountains Upchurch looked east and west over
the mighty expanse of the Continent, and how his heart must
have swelled with gratitude, when thinking that thickly
planted over all that space were homes to which he was
thrice welcome. No more loneliness now, no fear now that his
efforts had been in vain. His words were full of grateful
acknowledgement and modest acceptance of the brotherly and
filial affection and esteem in which the Order regarded him.
As seen before a large audience for the last time, he was still
the same modest, plain man of his humble and unknown days.
In the humble homes and workshop, as in the midst of thou-
sands of applauding friends, he shone alike, the honest and
unselfishman. Advancing years and accumulated honors but
broadened and mellowed the higher and stronger parts of his
nature, until, like ripened fruit, he fell into the lap of his
There have been those who have changed the destiny of
nations and recast the maps of the world. In their day they
received loud plaudits. History, with impartial and unspar-
ing hand, holds them to rigid account for what of wrong or
oppression they wrought. Not so with those who have added
new sources of help to the people and have recast the maps of
social life. The errors they may have made, the stumblings
and fallings of their upward march, are not remembered, be-
cause over all and greater than all are the blighted homes
reconstructed, the widows' cares lessened and their grief
assuaged, the orphans' want relieved, and destitution banished
from thousands of thresholds. The shadows of the wings of
mercy, silvered with the glintings from the great white throne
itself, are spread over the memory of such men, and they are
The Order has not been unmindful of its obligations
to its founder either in honor extended or in pecuniary
assistance when he was in need. Sometime after moving
to Steelville, Mo., Upchurch became involved in financial
difficulties and was about to lose his home when the
Order in Pennsylvania raised about three thousand dol-
lars and donated it to him to relieve his distress. After
his death the Order at large contributed a fund, approxi-
mating eight thousand dollars, from which Mrs. Up-
church was paid a monthly annuity of fifty dollars up to
the time of her death.
The Missouri Jurisdiction erected a beautiful and
costly monument in his memory.
WILLIAM WASHINGTON WALKER.
Died at his home in Chicago, 111., February 24, 1908,
at the age of seventy years.
The Supreme Lodge, A. O. U. W., directed the fol-
lowing memorial page inserted in its records:
WILLIAM WASHINGTON WALKER.
He was the associate of Father Upchurch in the organiza-
tion of Jefferson Lodge No. 1 — the first lodge of the Order — at
Meadville, Pennsylvania, October 27, 1868. He was a Repre-
sentative at the formation of the Supreme Lodge in 1873, and
was elected the first Supreme Master Workman of the Order.
During the early years of the Order's history he was a promi-
nent and efficient factor in the propogation of the new thought
compassed in the teachings of Co-operative Brotherhood as ex-
emplified in the Ancient Order of United Workmen. His zeal
never faltered and his interest continued active in the Order
he loved" so well up to the date of his death.
The following eulogy pronounced by Past Supreme
Master Workman Tate, of Nebraska, is a worthy tribute
to the memory of one to whom the Fraternal Beneficiary
Societies of this country owe a debt of gratitude, second
only to that of the founder of the system of co-operative
Brother William Washington Walker was born February
28, 1838, near Belfast, Ireland. Of his earlier years we know
nothing. When but 15 years of age he left home to visit rela-
tives in this country and never afterwards returned to his
From 1853 to 1861 young Walker spent his time learning
the machinist trade, his specialty being locomotive and marine
In 1861 the sound of war fell on his listening ears, and
though of foreign birth, his heart was stirred by his adopted
country's peril and he enlisted in Birdsall's Independent Cav-
alry and marched with McClelland into West Virginia. He
was soon afterwards transferred to the artillery, in which
branch of his country's service he remained until 1863, when
he was transferred to the naval service and joined the Mississ-
ippi Squadron. In the engagement at Johnsonville, on the
Tennessee river he was dangerously wounded and lost the sight
of his right eye. Recovering his general health he returned to
duty and served his country until March, 1865, when he was
honorably "mustered out" and returned to civil life. Dur-
ing the seven years following he was a resident of Meadville,
Pennsylvania. Here he became identified with the A. O. U. W.
and had a prominent place in the founding and upbuilding.
He served as Master Workman and Recorder of Jefferson
Lodge No. 1 of Meadville. He was acting Grand Recorder of
the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania and the first Supreme Mas-
ter Workman of the Order.
He organized lodges in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois and
From the day of his initiation as a Workman until the day
of his death he was a faithful and consistent member of our
Of a retiring disposition, he soon fell behind in the march
toward power and position in our order, but making no com-
plaint, and content to be but a doorkeeper in the temple he
had done much toward building, he remained, throughout his
whole life of membership a faithful, unassuming brother. His
home life was serene as a summer morning. To him it was a
veritable Heaven. There, with his wife and three daughters,
he shared life's joys and hid its sorrows from public gaze.
Early in life he joined the Presbyterian church and re-
mained in its fellowship until called to the church above.
He accepted without question the great doctrines of that
church, and quietly but persistently and consistently lived in
the spirit of the truths he believed. Always moving, he was
seldom in a hurry. Refusing to halt, he was careful to neither
jostle nor crowd. To him the "kindly light" was more than
a mere lantern. It was a sunburst, soul filling, world re-
Of this world's goods he possessed but little. Too poor to
meet the advancing rates of his increasing years, he was com-
pelled to reduce the amount of protection he carried in the
Order he did so much to foster. Poor as he was his vision did
not stop at the palaces of the rich. Far off he saw the hasten-
ing providences of God his Father, and instead of being en-
vious of others' prosperity, he became the patient, but confi-
dent heir to promised "daily bread," here, and a "room" in
his Father's mansion in the skies.
The writer of this history of the early years of the
A. O. U. W. has always felt that while Upchurch was
justly entitled to the honor of being the founder of the
Order, yet that the assistance rendered by his associate,
Walker, had been such as had enabled him to bring
into concrete and more practical form the co-operative
measures sought to be established. They were both at
first in accord with the objects sought to be attained as
heretofore outlined, but as the Order advanced and the
minor or incidental object became the controlling one,
Walker at once recognized the change as a wise and
practical one to be followed, while Upchurch felt disap-
pointed and aggrieved and for years withdrew from
active co-operation in the propagation of the Order.
The Supreme Lodge was not unmindful of the obli-
gations the Order was under to Brother Walker and in
his old age and when in need, a like annuity was paid
to him as to the family of Father Upchurch.
JOSEPH M. McNAIR
was born in Virginia June 22, 1827, and died at his home
in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, November 20, 1909, aged 82
years and nearly five months. He joined the Upchurch
wing of the Order, at the organization of Friendship
Lodge No. 9, located at New Castle, Pa., in 1872. He
was a member of the committee that was instrumental
in reuniting the Order in 1873, and was a delegate to and
participated in the formation of the Supreme Lodge,
which occurred the same year. He was elected Grand
Recorder of the Jurisdiction of Pennsylvania in 1875 and
served in that office for thirty-two consecutive years, and
until failing health required his resignation. He was
elected and served as Supreme Master Workman for the
He was imbued with a staunch loyalty to Father
Upchurch, and the fraternal side of the Order was ever
his theme in addresses to the Lodges in which he became
known as the "Old War Horse" of Pennsylvania. In
the Supreme Lodge he was particularly noted as the
author of a ritual in 1875 an d accompanying odes, which
latter are still in use in the Order.
Ed. E. Hohmann, the present Supreme Overseer of
the Order, in closing his eulogy on the death of Brother
McNair says :
"We shall never forget the many fraternal lessons learned
from his lips nor shall we ever forget his strong right arm
and how it sustained us during the two years that we served
as Grand Master Workman. In this day of selfishness his
character stands out as an oasis in the desert. The world was
made better because he lived and we know that his soul is
now in the mansion of his Father and when he entered there
he was met with the gladsome message of "welcome to the
home that has been prepared for you."
SAMUEL B. MYERS.
Died at his home in Franklin, Pennsylvania, No-
vember 13, 1895. He was a close personal friend of
Father Upchurch, and his loyalty to him through the
early troubles that culminated in a separation of the
Order, was constant and pronounced. After the union
was effected, however, Brother Myers joined in hearty
accord and became a zealous supporter of the new lines
of operation adopted by the Society. From the eulogy
pronounced by Past Supreme Master Workman Mc-
Nair we quote :
"We place the name of Past Supreme Master Workman
Samuel B. Myers, of Pennsylvania, close to that of his illus-
trious colleague of those earlier and formative days. Brother
Samuel B. Myers became a member of Franklin Lodge, No. 3,
of Franklin, Pa., in the year 1871. He at once became an earn-
est and aggressive worker on all the lines of the Order. Pass-
ing the chairs of the Subordinate Lodge, he entered the Grand
Lodge, and in 1874 he served his Grand Lodge as Grand Mas-
ter Workman. His term was signalized by great progress and
general prosperity. He entered the Supreme Lodge in 1875,
and was made a member of the Committee on Laws and Super-
vision. This committee was charged with the duties hereto-
fore mentioned, and reported to the next meeting of the Su-
preme Lodge. At the meeting of the Supreme Lodge held in
1877, he was elected Supreme Master Workman, and served
with great efficiency. His full services in the Supreme Lodge
extended through the years 1875, 1876, 1878, 1880, 1881, 1882
and 1884. During the years 1878, 1881 and 1882, he served
upon the Committee of Appeals and Grievances.
"As a Workman, Brother Myers was distinguished for his
untiring zeal and devotion to the principles of our Order, and
was a valuable assistant in shaping our most important legis-
lation during the years of his service. He was inclined to and
believed in a vigorous enforcement of our laws, and yet he
was of a kind and fraternal disposition. He was aggressive in
contention, but gentle in victory."
was born September 8, 1829, in Bedford County, Ten-
nessee and died November 30, 1894, at his home in
Nashville, Tenn. Extended reference in these pages has
already been made to Brother Frizzell, noting the valu-
able service rendered by him to the Order. Possibly no
more expressive words could be employed to express the
high appreciation in which he was held than those em-
ployed by Supreme Master Workman Troy, in the offi-
cial announcement of his death :
Office of Supreme Master Workman, A. 0. U. W.
Chicago, III., Dec 1, 1894.
To the Members of the Ancient Order of United Wo-rkmen:
Brethren: It is with feelings of deepest sorrow that I
officially announce to you the death of our well-beloved brother,
Past Supreme Master Workman John Frizzell.
He died at his home in Nashville, Tenn., on Friday evening,
Nov. 30, 1894.
For more than a year past he has battled bravely with the
disease that was slowly but surely sapping away his vitality.
The end came not unexpectedly, but none the less to the great
sorrow of his devoted wife and family, and to the great body
of Workmen, in whose cause he has so long efficiently and
His work is indelibly stamped upon nearly every page of
our history, and will ever remain a monument to testify to
his wisdom in shaping the policy and securing the unprece-
dented success of our Order.
In recognition of his valuable services, the Supreme Lodge
at its last session, by unanimous vote, extended to him the
full privilege of a representative at all future sessions of that
body — an honor extended to none other, except to Brother Up-
church, the founder of the Order.
It is no disparagement to others to say that in the death of
Brother Frizzell the Supreme Lodge and the Order at large has
lost its most trusted and efficient adviser. His place will in-
deed be hard to fill.
To his sorrowing wife and family, the sympathy of an ap-
preciative brotherhood goes out, and is alone lightened by the
thought that he has but ceased from his good work here to
continue it in an enarged field of more perfect conditions.
In recognition of the great loss our Order kas sustained, it
is hereby directed that the Altar Emblem of each Subordinate
Lodge be draped in mourning for the space of sixty days.
Fraternally yours in C, H. and P.,
Attest: Lewis L. Troy,
M. W. Sackett, Supreme Master Workman.
The Supreme Lodge, in further recognition of ser-
vices rendered and affection for Judge Frizzell, directed
a granite monument to be erected to his memory.
W. WARNE WILSON.
It may be a matter of inquiry, in the minds of some,
why Brother Wilson, who did not become affiliated with
the A. O. U. W. until May 26, 1877, at the organization
of Detroit Lodge No. 6 of Michigan, and did not enter
the higher councils of the Order in the Supreme Lodge
until 1880, should be included among the pioneer officials
of the early years. The answer is, that while Brother
Wilson had, at the date when this history ends, made no
marked impress upon the Order outside the Jurisdiction
of Michigan, where his zeal and efficiency in the work
had been recognized by placing him in the responsible
position of Grand Recorder, he had already entered upon
the study of the problem of mortuary statistics in their
bearing upon the future solvency and permanency of the
Order. His clear, logical reasoning powers, added to an
unusual acumen, especially in mathematical lines, fitted
him admirably for the research and study of this subject.
Starting with carefully prepared statistics of his own
Jurisdiction, and soon enlarging the scope of investiga-
tion to other parts of the Order, and to other Societies
and Insurance Companies, such study soon led him to the
conclusion that radical changes must be made if the sys-
tem of Fraternal Protection was to become permanent.
We therefore find him among the first to urge upon the
A. O. U. W. and through the medium of a publication
of which he was editor, upon other Fraternal Beneficiary
Societies, the necessity of preparing for future solvency
by the adoption of rates that would provide an adequate
reserve. In this field of work he may justly be classed a
He was elected Grand Recorder of the Jurisdiction
of Michigan at the first semi-annual session of that body,
February, 1877, an d was retained in that position until
December, 1896, a period of practically twenty years,
when he resigned to enter the ministry. During this
period he had been the main factor in building up the
Jurisdiction of Michigan to a membership of near twenty-
three thousand, Detroit Lodge alone having three thou-
sand, one hundred thirty. Valuable as was his work for
the Order in his own State, still more valuable was his
labor in the broader field of influence exerted through the
As Supreme Master Workman, 1890-1891 — as a mem-
ber of the Relief Board and Beneficial Commission in the
readjustment of rates, as Chairman of the Finance Com-
mittee for many years, and in other important positions,
his recognized ability ever called him to service. In 1892
in compliance with a resolution of the Supreme Lodge he
compiled a digest of the laws and regulations of the.
Order, containing historical and other data which made it
among the most valuable publications the Order has ever
Frizzell and Wilson stand out in marked prominence
as leaders in the A. O. U. W. surpassed by no others, the
former in the earlier days and extending beyond the limits
of this history to the date of his death ; and the latter up
to the present time, the tried and true counselor, still in
demand on all important matters involving the good and
welfare of the Order.
All of those who were associated with Upchurch and
Walker in the formation of Jefferson Lodge have passed
away; none are left to tell the tale of that memorable
event. Brother Walker was the last to meet the call of
the grim reaper, Death. None other than Upchurch and
Walker became important factors in the development of
Of those who were delegates to the formation of the
Supreme Lodge in 1873, none are living, so far as the
knowledge of the writer extends, except himself.
Brother Handy, after passing out of the office of
Past Supreme Master Workman, in 1875, only attended
one other meeting of the Supreme body, that of the
succeeding year. For a number of years thereafter we
find him active in the councils of the Grand Lodge of
Kentucky, but finally to drop out of notice in their
records. He did well his part and his services were of
great value to the Order in the formative years in which
As to myself, possibly too much has already been said
regarding the part I have taken in the affairs of the
Order. Be this as it may, I am not conscious of having
enlarged the estimate of services rendered, or sought to
escape responsibility for errors committed. I served as
best I knew, and. it is for others, not myself, to pass
judgment upon my acts.
OTHER SOCIETIES ORGANIZED.
It may possibly be of interest to those who peruse the
foregoing pages of this history to further follow the in-
fluence emenating from the Ancient Order of United
Workmen, in the organization of other societies of like
As already noted, nearly five years had elapsed after
the organization of Jefferson Lodge No. i, A. O. U. W.,
before any other society of like character was instituted.
We are aware that in the manual, "Statistics Fraternal
Societies," published by the Monitor Company, three
societies are listed as antedating the organization of the
Ancient Order of United Workmen. Investigation, how-
ever, has fully convinced the writer of this history that
none of these societies at the date of their inception
could be classed as Fraternal Beneficiary Societies, as the
special significance of that term implies. The ingrafting
of the distinctive feature of insurance or protection
through the medium of lodge organization was of later
ARTISANS' ORDER OF MUTUAL PROTECTION.
Dr. J. M. Bunn, whose services as Deputy for the A.
O. U. W. has been referred to and who participated in
the meeting at the formation of the Supreme Lodge,
soon after that meeting went to Philadelphia, Pa., and
succeeded in interesting a number of persons in the for-
mation of a new society to be known as the Artisans'
Order of Mutual Protection. Desiring, if possible, to
procure a corporate charter from the District of Colum-
bia, on account of added prestige thought to be attained, a
meeting was held in the City of Washington, D. C, May
i, 1873, at which time the Most Excellent Assembly was
organized and Dr. Bunn placed in the position of Most
Excellent Master Artisan — the official head of the so-
ciety. We have been unable to gather the information
as to the number of persons present or who they were
other than Dr. Bunn that participated in this meeting.
This meeting, however, was afterwards recognized as the
first meeting of the Most Excellent Assembly, although
the first Subordinate Assembly was not organized until
November 4, 1873, at Philadelphia.
This Society, although never acquiring large propor-
tions, has been a well managed one, with a steady growth
each year. A late letter from its efficient Most Eminent
Recorder says : "We are very proud of our little old-
fashioned organization, we work on the old original
plan, no organizers, no commissions, our members are
our agents, and we think we favor a good man by admit-
The first laws of this Society was entirely the work of
Dr. Bunn and in large measure followed the laws of the
A. O. U. W. with the exception of eliminating the fea-
ture of Separate Beneficiary Jurisdictions. The tracing
of the line of influence of the A. O. U. W. in the organi-
zation of this second Society is therefore clear and dis-
A parting word may properly be inserted here as to
Dr. Bunn. He remained as head executive of the Arti-
sans' Order of Mutual Protection until January, 1875,
after which it appears his labors ceased in that connection.
Many years later the writer met Dr. Bunn in Tacoma
in the State of Washington. He was then an old man,
with silvered locks and feeble step. Xo doubt ere this
he has crossed the dark line of human destiny, but the
results of the work he did in the initial period of Fra-
ternal Beneficiary Societies will remain as a worthy tri-
bute to his memory.
KXIGHTS OF HONOR.
The Knights of Honor was organized June 30, 1873,
in the City of Louisville, Kentucky. For a time it was a
moted question to whom the honor of being the founder
of this Society should attach, two persons claiming that
honor, one Darius Wilson, M. D., the other J. A. De-
maree, both residents at that time of Louisville. To settle
this controversy, a committee was appointed by the Su-
preme Lodge of the Knights of Honor in 1877, and after
thorough investigation reported its conclusions as
"Your committee therefore conclude that while Bro. J. A.
Demaree was the person who called the meeting on the 30th
of June, 1873, for the purpose of organizing a Society of the
Knights of Honor, and as such is entitled to the honor of be-
ing the originator of the movement which finally culminated in
the organization of the Order — yet,
"That by reason of the services of Bro. D. Wilson, who not
only caused to be engrafted into the objects of the Order the
W. & O. B. Fund as well as all of its present distinctive fea-
tures and through whose efforts the Order was established, to
Bro. D. Wilson is due the honor of being the Founder of the
The writer, since beginning this history, requested
Dr. Wilson to give certain facts in regard to the forma-
tion of a number of Fraternal Beneficiary Societies, of
which he was the founder, and the following is his reply
relative to the Knights of Honor:
In 1872, Dr. Darius Wilson, residing at Louisville, Ky.,
was elected State Council Secretary of the United American
Mechanics for the State of Kentucky, and was so well and
favorably known throughout the city as an enthusiastic and
active member of the various Societies to which he belonged
that his services were in great demand.
In the early part of the year 1873, he was induced by
Bro. S. R. Biesenthal, a member of a Lodge of the A. O. U. W.
at Covington, Ky., to go with him to Covington to see Grand
Master Workman Handy and learn something of the A. O. U.
W. A short interview with Brother Handy convinced the
latter that it was worth while to secure the services of the
Doctor in behalf of the Order. The Doctor told Brother
Handy that if he could be shown the work (that is, be ini-
tiated) and it met with his approval he would guarantee to
make a good Lodge in Louisville within a week.
G. M. W. Handy then called a special meeting of the Grand
Lodge of Kentucky for the purpose of initiating the Doctor.
After initiation, the Doctor returned to Louisville and within
two days organized the sixth Lodge in the State, known as
Louisville Lodge No. 6 and composed of twenty-four of the
most prominent citizens. The Doctor was its first Master
Workman. While he was studying the ritual, constitution and
general plan of the Order, the better to promote the same, the
National Council of the Order of American Mechanics refused
to charter a new Council of the Junior Order because it had
selected for its name "Robert E. Lee." Because of this intol-
erance, Dr. Wilson resigned his State Council Secretaryship
and took a withdrawal card from the Order. The Junior
Order, though controlled by the Senior Order, was composed
of young men under twenty-one years of age and who were
unable to obtain membership in any fraternities except some
temperance orders. A Council of the Junior Order was at
that time located in Louisville and J. A. Demaree was its pre-
siding officer. The Council having surrendered its charter be-
cause of the acts of the National Council, Demaree requested
Dr. Wilson to make a new Order in which the boys could be-
come members. On June 30, 1873, the boys came together and
were by the Doctor made members of Golden Lodge No. 1,
Knights of Honor.
The Doctor, while putting in a good deal of his spare time
in perfecting the details of the Order, had taken no steps
towards organizing any more lodges and might never have
done so had it not been for an unfortunate act of Brother
The Doctor was holding a commission, the original of which
is now in the office of the Supreme Recorder, A. O. U. W.
Under this authority the Doctor had organized Lodge No.
7 and had called a meeting for the purpose of organizing an-
other Lodge on the 24th of October, 1873, but the United States
mail of that morning brought to the Doctor from Brother
Handy a revocation of his commission. Brother Handy visited
Louisville Lodge, No. 6, A. O. U. W., that evening and ordered
the Lodge to appoint a committee to investigate and see if
charges should be preferred against the Doctor for making a
new Order and copying portions of the Constitution of the A.
O. U. W. The committee was duly appointed but during this
same evening, Dr. Wilson, instead of organizing a Lodge of
A. O. U. W., made Louisville Lodge, No. 2, Knights of Honor.
The committee to look for wrong doing on the part of the
Doctor was composed of Odd Fellows and Masons and as the
Doctor belonged to both of these organizations, it did not take
him long to show them that the Constitution of the A. 0. U. W.
was largely copied from that of the Grand Lodge of Ohio, I. O.
O. F., and that it in turn was copied from the Constitution of
the Grand Lodge of Masons. The committee reported to the
Lodge that there was no cause for the preferment of charges
against the good Doctor, but nevertheless Brother Handy con-
tinued to fight the Doctor until he finally discovered that he
was fighting against great odds.
Dr. Wilson paid no attention to Brother Handy's opposition
but simply abandoned his medical practice and bent all his
energy to the building up of his new Order. By personal
solicitation he secured all the members for and organized 80
of the first 81 Lodges of the Knights of Honor.
At the beginning he tried to have the first Lodge adopt a
scale of assessments graded according to age, but his asso-
ciates desired a level assessment of $1 on each member and
that none should be admitted above the age of 44. They held
the opinion that none would join if required to pay more
than $1 on an assessment. They did not object to the Doctor's
final plan of a graded scale of assessments for those who joined
between the ages of 44 and 55, the assessment at 54 being $4,
and a goodly number paid $4 on each assessment for many
Dr. Wilson attempted to improve on the plan of the A. O.
U. W. by creating one W. & O. B. Fund for the entire Order
that could not in any way be divided by State lines. But he
never relaxed his interest in the success of the A. O. U. W.
and some years later introduced the Order into New England.
As to the controversy between Brother Doctor Wilson
and Grand Master Workman Handy, this writing has
little to do, but it is only just to the latter to give his
reason for revoking the commission of Dr. Wilson as
deputy of the A. O. U. W., which is contained in his
report to the Grand Lodge of Kentucky. He says : "He
(Dr. Wilson) instead of devoting his time and energies to
our Order, was devoting them to this new Order of his.
His action in this matter in starting a rival Order while
holding a position of trust in the A. O. U. W. I deem
a breach of trust and duty."
We leave the merits of this controversy to the deter-
mination of the reader, only remarking that, like as in
the case of Dr. Bunn, whether the action was justifiable
from an ethical standpoint or not, the results were for
the good and upbuilding of Fraternal Protection in this
The writer must disagree with Dr. Wilson in his
assertion that the Constitution and Laws of the A. O. U.
W. was largely copied from the two Societies mentioned
by him. Were there no evidence other than the laws as
heretofore set out, it would be sufficient to refute the
assertion made by Dr. Wilson, as they show in construc-
tion no evidence to maintain such position, besides this
the writer of this record is personally knowing to the
fact that such was not the case.
The Knights of Honor grew and prospered, at one
time reaching a membership of over one hundred and
forty thousand and is still in existence, having paid over
one hundred million dollars to the widows and orphans of
its deceased brethren.
The connecting link in the chain of influence exerted
by the A. O. U. W. in the organization of this Society is
clear and distinct.
INDEPENDENT ORDER OF FORESTERS.
This large, influential and among the most prosper-
cms Societies of the present day, dates its organization
from June I, 1874.
The name of Dr. Oronhyetkha, its founder, is a
familiar household word in the great family of Fraternal
At first the operations of this Society were restricted
to the Provinces of Canada, but soon under the energetic
administration of its founder it crossed the line and suc-
cessfully pursued its onward march under the united flags
of the Union Jack and Stars and Stripes.
The writer is unable to trace any direct line of influ-
ence exerted by either the A. O. U. W. or Knights of
Honor in the inception and founding of the Independent
Order of Foresters, but it is probably true that Dr. Oron-
hyetkha had knowledge of the existence of these Societies
at the time he founded his, for the reason that consid-
erable publicity, especially in life insurance circles, was
at that time being given to these so called "hat passing
life insurance concerns." Be this as it may, Dr. Oron-
hyetkha conceived the great possibilities for good in a
Society of this character, and up to the date of his death
devoted his time and eminent abilities to the perfection
and extension of the Society of which he was the founder
The Independent Order of Foresters was among the
first of the Fraternal Beneficiary Societies to make pro-
vision for a reserve fund to insure the future integrity
and solvency of the Society, and today it has the proud
distinction of having in such fund over twenty million
dollars, a greater accumulation than any other like
As a personal friend of long years' standing the writer
cannot refrain from placing on record his high apprecia-
tion of the sterling virtues of Dr. Oronhyetkha, his loyal
support and helpful counsel during the many years the
writer occupied the position of Secretary of the National
Fraternal Congress. He was a true friend and a loyal
UNITED ORDER OF THE GOLDEN CROSS.
On July 4, 1876, was organized at Knoxville, Ten-
nessee, the Society above mentioned. We are not advised
as to who was its founder, but this we know, that the
inspiring force for long years past has been our esteemed
and widely known Brother W. R. Cooper.
The A. O. U. W., at the date of the organization of
this Society, had assumed considerable prominence in
the State of Tennessee, and no doubt its popularity and
successful business was an inducement and guide in the
formation of this new Order.
While not classed among the large Societies of today,
it is operating upon a sound basis, with adequate rates to
insure its perpetuity.
CATHOLIC MUTUAL BENEFIT ASSOCIATION.
Was organized October, 1876. This was the first dis-
tinctive Fraternal Beneficiary Society instituted in which
the membership is restricted to persons of the Catholic
faith. From the first, this Society, like all others that
have since been organized under the auspices of this faith,
has successfully prosecuted its work of Co-operative char-
ity and benevolence. It may be worthy of observation that
the Catholic Church is the only church organization that
has openly given its sanction and helpful support to Fra-
ternal Beneficiary Societies. Even today the old prejudice
against secret societies inherent in the contracted minds
of some ministers, finds vent in a tirade of condemna-
tion against all secret societies, including Fraternal Bene-
ficiary Organizations, that have done such noble and com-
mendable work in the uplift and betterment of humanity.
We are pleased, however, to note that today this preju-
dice is fast waning and that often now church doors are
opened to the admission of our Fraternities, their past
work extolled, and prayers offered for the successful con-
tinuance of their beneficent work.
The Catholic Mutual Benefit Association, under the
wise leadership of its President, John J. Hynes, and
Joseph Cameron, its Supreme Secretary, early took steps
to place their organization on the firm footing of adequate
rates, and now rejoice in an accumulated reserve of
nearly two and one-half millions of dollars.
As to what influence, if any, was exerted through the
medium of the A. O. U. W. in the institution of this So-
ciety we cannot say other than to note that at the time
it was organized several lodges of the A. O. U. W. were
in existence in Buffalo and its vicinity.
During the year 1877 seven new Fraternal Benefi-
ciary Societies were organized. It is beyond the intended
limit of this short history to follow from this time for-
ward the increasing number of new organizations that
entered the field of co-operative effort. To trace this out
must be the work of someone better qualified than the
present writer ; only one other, the Royal Arcanum, with
the institution of which the writer is familiar, will be
The Royal Arcanum was instituted by its founder, Dr.
Darius Wilson, at Boston, Massachusetts, June 23, 1877.
We are again privileged to quote from the recent state-
ment of Dr. Wilson as to his part in the founding of this
"He tried for three successive years to induce the Supreme
Lodge, Knights of Honor, to adopt a graded scale of assess-
ments, but the savants of that august body said it was an
impossibility to do that sort of thing. Wilson finally said, "I
will make another Order in which that identical plan shall be
a prominent feature." Then he made the Royal Arcanum and
to make sure that no one should interfere with his plans, he
alone made the name, the plan, the Constitution, the Ritual,
the permanent pass-words as they are used at the present time,
and the emblem and jewels as still in use. He also prepared
the blank forms of applications for membership, etc. Then
on June 23, 1877, he invited Charles K. Darling, W. O. Robson,
F. M. Crawford, J. M. Swain, J. A. Cummings, J. H. Wright,
William Brawley, G. W. Blish and William Goodhue to meet
him at the Doctor's reception parlors at 1066 Washington St.,
Boston, Mass., for the purpose of being initiated into the Order
and each to take an office in the Supreme Council.
It is safe to say that none of those invited had any faith in
the final success of the Order and this fact is further empha-
sized by the absolute refusal of J. A. Cummings to take the
office of Supreme Regent, as requested by the Doctor, and
further by the non-appearance of Mr. Goodhue, who never be-
came a member of the Order. Personal friendship for Dr.
Wilson was undoubtedly the only reason for the presence of
any of those who were initiated."
As above indicated, the Supreme Council was orga-
nized before the institution of any Subordinate Councils,
and Dr. Wilson was elected its first Supreme Regent and
W. O. Robson Supreme Secretary.
The Knights of Honor had already been introduced in
Massachusetts and other New England States, Brother J.
A. Cummings being at the time of joining in the founding
of the Royal Arcanum the Grand Vice-Dictator of the
Grand Lodge, Knights of Honor of Massachusetts.
The Royal Arcanum provided in its first constitution
and laws for the collection of a graded rate of assess-
ment from its membership. These assessments were,
however, only to be levied and collected to meet the death
claims as they occurred. Each certificate was for the
amount of Three Thousand Dollars.
The progress of the Society from the first was rapid
and its membership drawn from the best class of citizens ,
in the cities and towns where its councils were located.
From the annual report made by Supreme Secretary
Robson, April 23, 1878, we gather information of the
rapid and widespread extension of the Society during the
first year of its existence: Twenty-seven hundred and
eighty-one members had been admitted ; eighty-two Coun-
cils had been established, located in the following States :
Massachusetts, Ohio, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Michi-
gan, Maine, Virginia, New York, Georgia, Wisconsin,
Ontario, Canada, and Pennsylvania. Besides this, peti-
tions were in circulation for the organization of Councils
in California, Kansas, New Hampshire and Illinois. This
extended dissemination of knowledge of the Society in
the short space of ten months speaks volumes for the zeal
and enthusiasm of its executive officers and certifies to
the ready acceptance of people to join its ranks.
Of the propagating work Brother Robson says:
"The formation of Councils in different localities, and
notices thereof in the local papers, with a brief statement of
the objects of the Order, caused inquiries to be sent from all
quarters, and a lively correspondence continued during the
autumn. So strong has become the public distrust of the old
methods of life insurance, and so well grounded the confidence
in the system of securing death benefits through the machin-
ery of secret, fraternal association, that the bare announce-
ment that such an Order as ours was in existence, excited
inquiry, and as the record shows, often lead to active parti-
cipation. * * *
* * * "The outlook for a large and rapid increase during
the next year is indeed favorable.
"The public mind has long been convinced of the failure
of the life insurance system, and of the advantages of the
secret beneficiary plan. The Royal Arcanum is the only Order
having' a graded scale of assessment based upon mortality
rates, and we believe it is destined to come still more into
public favor as its objects and details of work become known."
The Royal Arcanum is still at the present day among
the large and prosperous co-operative Fraternities. For
more than thirty-seven years it has maintained its high
standing of intelligent progressive work. Like others of
its sister Societies, it has had to pass through the experi-
ence of readjusting its rates to an adequate basis, but this
it has done, retaining the confidence of its membership
and suffering but slight diminution in its ranks.
The record of its benefactions total near One Hundred
and Seventy-five Million Dollars, and in addition it has
present resources to guarantee future liabilities of nearly
Six Millions in its Emergency Fund.
For over thirty years, Supreme Secretary Robson
stood at the helm and guided the destiny of the Royal
Arcanum, and his efficient services in that office only
closed when death claimed him as her own. During these
long years, his name was familiar as a leader in the co-
operative fraternal world. The accurate statistics which
he kept and compiled of the Royal Arcanum formed, in
conjunction with these of the A. O. U. W., in large
measure the basis of experience from which the National
Fraternal Congress Table of Mortality was deduced.
Like Rev. Mr. Wilson of the A. O. U. W., not enter-
ing the field of co-operative protection in its earliest years,
yet the efficient services rendered gives him a justifiable
place among the Pioneers.
Here, as in the other cases mentioned, is clearly to be
traced the influence of the A. O. U. W. in the organiza-
tion of this Society.
From 1877 to the present time in multiplied numbers
have new Societies of like character been formed, all
following closely the lines marked out by the early fathers
of the system, until today a great concourse of near eight
million brothers and sisters are joined in this noble hu-
manitarian work that challenges the admiration of the
Some few Societies have failed, but it is remarkable
that in no instance so far as the knowledge of the writer
extends, has there attached a charge of graft or scandal
to mar the fair fame of Fraternal Protection.
In no department of business experience in great en-
terprises for the past fifty years can a parallel be found
of integrity of purpose and honest administration. Mul-
tiplied millions through the ministration of these Societies
have come to the homes bereft of their main support and
the blessings of immeasurable numbers of widows and
orphans bless the day that Fraternal Protection placed
around their homes its care and helpful aid.
DARIUS WILSON, M. D.
No one within the limits of fraternal work in America
stands the peer of Dr. Wilson as an organizer of new
Societies. He was the founder of the Knights of Honor,
Royal Arcanum, American Legion of Honor and the
Royal Society of Good Fellows. In each of these he
served in commanding executive positions, especially as
Supreme or Supervising Medical Examiner.
Of pleasing personality, wide acquaintance, a zealous
enthusiast that knew no defeat in the object to be attained,
and possessed of remarkable persuasive powers, he was
an ideal and successful organizer. At the advanced age
of seventy-six the Doctor is still in active service in many
directions. His has indeed been a long and successful
career and the good that has resulted from his efforts in.
the fraternal co-operative field will stand as a lasting
monument to his memory when he shall have passed to
We copy the following from an article published in
the Royal Arcanum Fraternal Quarterly October, 1895 :
Dr. Wilson was born in the town of Athol, now Thurman,
New York, June 26, 1838, and at an early age was by force
of circumstances thrown upon his own resources, and started
out to make his way in the world by his own exertions. He
attended medical lectures in the University of New York,
1855, 1856, and 1857, and graduated as Doctor of Medicine from
the Philadelphia University in 1865. In 1880 he founded the
College of Physicians and Surgeons of Boston. He attended
two full courses of lectures at this college and received a
diploma from it in 1882, which diploma was endorsed by
Bellevue Hospital Medical College of New York in 1883, said,
endorsement being under the law of the State equivalent to a
•diploma from that college. He is a member of the New York
County Medical Society.
Dr. Wilson and his work for Fraternal Societies are so
well known that it does not appear necessary to give a detailed
list of the Societies with which he is connected; suffice it to
say he has been a member of some forty organizations, has
stood at the head of several of them, and has occupied posi-
tions of responsibility and trust in all. Many men occupying
high office in Fraternal Societies today are indebted to Dr.
Wilson for the positions they hold.
As an organizer and promoter he has never had a peer
among those engaged in Fraternal Society work, and where
others have retired from the field as failures he has scored a
Personally he is a genial, quiet mannered gentleman, in-
clined to be optimistic in his views, and a firm believer in the
perpetuity of Fraternal Societies.
A FEW GENERAL REMARKS.
In a book under the title ''Assessment Life Insurance"
published by the Spectator Company in 1896 in which the
Fraternal Beneficiary Societies are referred to in a "Brief
Historical Review," and in which the assertion is made,
in speaking of the Ancient Order of United Workman,
that "The form and plans of the Society were modeled
after those of the two Affiliated Friendly Societies of
Great Britain, the Foresters and Manchester Unity of
Odd Fellows. From these the system of collecting funds
to meet death claim obligations was also adopted."
We have no particular fault to find with the author,
Mr. Miles M. Dawson, the eminent Actuary, in the gen-
eral review made except as to the above quoted assertions
which are entirely misleading and incorrect. From per-
sonal official connection with the management of the A.
O. U. W. in the early years of its history and intimate
relationship with the founders of the Order, the writer
of this history can assert with positiveness that neither
himself or they had any knowledge at that time of the
existance of the two British Societies above mentioned.
If in some ways the lines of operation adopted followed
those of the foreign societies it was unknown to them,
and we think we could say with truthfulness that to the
date of the limit to which this history extends, 1880, little
if any knowledge, was had by any one in official position
in the Fraternal Beneficiary Societies then in existence
as to the laws or history of the British Societies — this
information was disseminated afa later period.
Numerous other exaggerated statements have from
time to time appeared in public print relative to the early
days of the A. O. U. W. and the meed of credit that
should be rendered to the founder and his associates and
one of the objects of this history is to preclude misstate-
ments in the future. During the earlier years covered
by this history but little publicity was given these new
societies, what little was known of them was localized
within the limits of the subordinate lodges and councils,
but later when it was noted with what little persuasion
and even eagerness people joined their ranks, they began
to attract public attention. The old line Insurance Com-
panies apprehensive of inroads to their business, sought
through their agents to retard the growth of the Fraternal
Societies by aspersion and ridicule, calling them "Hat
passing Insurance Companies, etc," unworthy of the no-
tice or adherence of sensible people. These attacks, how-
ever placed no bar to the progress of the societies. In
fact it was an advantage to them in that it turned public
attention to the work they were doing and they suffered
no detriment by comparison with the old line Companies
which at that time was far from enjoying public favor
and endorsement. The Companies in their earlier days
failed to see the great benefit to their business they were
to reap through the education of the people by the
Societies to the need of insurance protection. Afterwards
they appreciated this fact and be it said to their credit,
acknowledged the Fraternal Beneficiary Societies as
friends in disguise that had rendered them untold benefit
in the extension and prosperity of their business.
The criticism has often been made, especially during
the process of readjustment of rates, that ignorance of
necessary requirements to insure perpetuity, on the part
of those responsible for Fraternal Beneficiary Societies,
was inexcusable, "that they ought to have known better. "
To the mind of the writer, the existence of these societies
today is owing to this ignorance, for had the endeavor
been made to start the movement on lines such as are
now recognized as necessary to secure future permanence
and solvency, no effort that could possibly have been put
forth could have resulted in the organization of such
The time when the A. O. U. W. came into existence
was most opportune. The period from 1870 to 1879 was
one of unparalleled disaster to old line Life Insurance
Companies and millions upon millions of the people's
money, as well as the protection thought to have been
secured, was lost in the multitudes of failures of these
So well has the eminent historian of Life Insurance,
Hon. William A. Fricke, set forth the conditions prevail-
ing at that time that we give the following extracts from
his history published in 1898:
A PERIOD OF DISASTER.
The nine years immediately following the First Convention
must be accounted the most trying period in the history of
American Life Insurance. The number of companies which
ceased doing business in New York was forty-six. Only four
reinsured in companies that remained solvent; only ten others
paid their liabilities in full. Receivers' reports are incom-
plete, but a careful examination of such as are accessible show
the total loss to policy-holders by failures among American
Life companies to be about thirty-five million dollars, nearly
all of which occurred during this period.
RISE OF ASSESSMENT SOCIETIES.
Another result of these same causes was that multitudes
of men who felt the need of life insurance protection, sought a
substitute for it in co-operative and fraternal societies. I am
aware that there is well-founded objection to calling the opera-
Lions of these societies insurance, and it will be stoutly main-
tained by some that there is but one system of real life insur-
ance; nevertheless there may be many systems of post-mortem
relief, and it is hardly worth while to quarrel about the name
so long as we apprehend the fact. There is no question but
that many co-operative and fraternal societies operating be-
tween 1870 and 1880, in spite of their imperfect system and be-
cause of honest management, furnished better protection to
their patrons than the level-premium companies whose demise
we have been considering — although the latter were organized
upon plans that were unassailable, ran their course of wick-
edness under the aegis of the law, and died in the odor (a
very bad odor, to be sure) of regularity. While the business of
the level-premium companies that failed was but a small per-
centage of the whole, and there were always sound and well-
managed companies in the field, yet the losses were neverthe-
less great and wide-spread, and it was little comfort to one who
had lost the accumulations of years to be told that he should
have insured in a better company. A system that furnished
(or even promised) present protection at low cost, and did
not profess to accumulate money for future needs, appealed
very strongly to men who did not understand theories of in-
surance, but who were angry and sore at heart over losses
under a system that professed to be perfect.
Mr. Fricke further notes the fact that in 1879 — 80
there was a general revival of business in the old line Life
Companies thus bearing out the assertion we have made
of the influence of Fraternal Societies in educating the
general public to the need of home protection.
It has been a matter of comment as to why the level
assessment rate of one dollar was so long adhered to in
the A. O. U. \Y. Some reference has heretofore been
made to the intense brotherly feeling that pervaded the
Order in the earlier years of existence. This helpful in-
fluence was so woven into the fabric of the Society that
while it was recognized that advancing age brought added
cost, so far as the protection feature was concerned, yet
so long as this cost brought no burdensome demands it
was cheerfully paid — the fact of like benefits and like
contributions appealed strongly to the fraternal co-op-
erative spirit so markedly prevalent in those years. Later
on when by reason of the Separate Beneficiary Juris-
diction feature of the Order, the growing age develop-
ment became sooner apparent than it would had this pro-
vision not been in force, the necessity of equalizing the
contribution to the hazzard of risk became a matter to be
dealt with. The loyalty, however, to this level dollar con-
tribution was so firmly imbedded in the spirit of the mem-
bership that it remained a number of years before any
change took place. It may be further said, as an added
reason for the long delay in discarding the level dollar
rate, that to those who had closely watched developments
and had gathered some knowledge of necessary require-
ments to render societies of this nature permanent and
secure for all time, it was apparent that to adopt a graded
rate inadequate to accumulate a reserve sufficient to meet
the mortality cost of increasing age, that such graded
rates gave no better security for the future than did the
level dollar rate. True that the graded rate did in a meas-
ure established greater equity between the members, yet
as the contributions only reached the point of meeting
current cost, leaving no residue, the one was no better
than the other as a solution for the future.
Incidently it may be remarked that here again the
A. O. U. W. did pioneer work in the outlook it furnished
to other Societies wherein the membership statistics were
gathered as a whole and the growing age tendency there-
by more or less concealed.
The tracing of these lines of education and develop-
ment to a standard of solvency for the future is, however,
beyond the perview of this history and is left to the his-
torian who shall take up the work from where this
The tendency in writing this history has been to con-
stantly overstep the limit to which it was to extend and
to note the onward progress and development that has
taken place until today when but few societies are left
but can say "we are on a scientific basis with adequate
provisions for the future."
No history of Fraternal Beneficiary Societies would
be complete no matter what period of time it covered,
without rendering a tribute of appreciation to the noble
women who have labored in this field of effort. Up to
the time of the closing of this history, no exclusive ladies'
society had been formed other than the Degree of Honor,
which had not as yet adopted a beneficiary feature, but
a number of societies had made provision for the admis-
sion of women to their ranks. Soon, however, was to
follow the society of the Ladies of Maccabees ; Ladies
Catholic Benevolent Association, Women's Catholic Or-
der of Foresters ; The Superior Lodge of Degree of Hon-
or with beneficiary feature attached; Royal Neighbors of
America and other exclusive ladies' societies. Of these
none have failed in their mission and today they rank
the peer of societies composed entirely of men. Be it
said to the detriment of the exclusive men societies that
much more fully and completely have the ladies' societies
inculcated the true spirit of fraternity in social, ethical
and moral uplift and co-operative helpfulness than have
the men. Their influence in societies composed of both
sexes has in like manner, been a helpful factor of pro-
gress. All honor then to the noble women whose aid has
been of such untold good in the beneficent work of Home
The writer cannot withstand the temptation to again
take a step forward and enter the restricted limits fixed
for the close of this history, to place on record his ap-
preciation of the great and effective work done by the
National Fraternal Congress and the Associated Fraterni-
ties of America, now so happily joined in a united body,
in the dissemination of education leading up to the adop-
tion by the Fraternal Beneficiary Societies of rates based
on scientific principles and giving assurance of future
permanence and solvency. These bodies have been the
central school from which has radiated the best thought
and most careful investigation as to what was needed to
preserve the integrity and render enduring the Fraternal
Co-operative System of Home Protection.
Twenty-eight years ago through the inceptive influ-
ence of the Supreme Lodge Ancient Order of United
Workmen, the National Fraternal Congress was called
into being. At the first meeting held in the Capital City
of our nation, September, 1886, sixteen societies were
represented with an estimated membership of a little over
one-half million, today eighty-three societies are associa-
ted in the National Fraternal Congress of America,
representing a combined membership of over Five and
one-half Millions. During the same period these societies
have paid to the families of their deceased members near-
ly Two Billion Dollars.
In an extended flight of imagination, who can meas-
ure the beneficial results eminating from this great Sys-
tem of Organized Protection of the Homes, extending
throughout this broad land of ours. The rapid growth
and beneficent influence exerted by these societies has
been the wonder and crowning glory of the last remark-
able century. No other associated endeavor of human
uplift and helpfulness compares with its achievements.
To be a part of this great System of Organized Pro-
tection, or to be entrusted with the important duties im-
posed by official position should be an honor, secondary
to none other within the gift of human enterprise or en-
The writer counts the twelve years he served as Sec-
retary-Treasurer of the National Fraternal Congress as
the most pleasant and memorable period of his long official
connection with the work of Fraternal Co-operative Pro-
tection. These years were the earlier ones in the history
of the Congress and the membership then was largely
composed of those who were the founders of the different
societies represented. Many of these have passed beyond
the vale. With what reverence memory recalls their zeal
and devotion to the cause they loved so well The names
of Upchurch, Walker, Oronhyatekha, Boynton, Robson,
Root, Shields, Shepherd, Stevens, Warner, Acker and
other leaders are familiar household words in Fraternal
Co-operative circles. In the enrollment on the pages of
history their names will appear among those whom the
world honors as the great benefactors of the Nineteenth
Century. The heritage they have left should be a sacred
trust to be guarded with equal zeal, honesty of pur-
pose and unselfish devotion as that displayed by these
noble men. That wise and judicious care of this great
, legacy has been exercised by those who have followed,
is attested by the increased numbers, extended influence
and added financial stability of the Fraternal Beneficiary
societies of to-day.
In closing this history, what shall we say of the fu-
ture ? Is the Fraternal Co-operative System to be endur-
ing, or will it continue to flourish for a time, reach its
zenith and then gradually retrograde and become ex-
tinct, remaining only a memory recorded on the page of
history ? No, it will not fail as long as wise, earnest and
unselfish men and women continue to lead and homes
exist to be protected and widows and orphans need to be
H 28 85
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